Perdix micro-UAV swarm demonstration held at China Lake, Calif. on Oct. 26, 2016.
The US military has launched 103 miniature swarming drones from a fighter jet during a test in California.
Three F/A-18 Super Hornets were used to release the Perdix drones last October.
The drones, which have a wingspan of 12in (30cm), operate autonomously and share a distributed brain.
A military analyst said the devices, able to dodge air defence systems, were likely to be used for surveillance.
Video footage of the test was published online by the Department of Defense.
“Perdix are not pre-programmed synchronised individuals, they are a collective organism, sharing one distributed brain for decision-making and adapting to each other like swarms in nature,” said William Roper, director of the Strategic Capabilities Office.
“Because every Perdix communicates and collaborates with every other Perdix, the swarm has no leader and can gracefully adapt to drones entering or exiting the team.”
The drones were originally designed by engineering students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and were first modified for military testing in 2013.
This work, Perdix Swarm Demo Oct. 2016, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.