An office of the US Marine Corps thinks deploying kamikaze drones from hand-held launchers would be a pretty cool idea.
The US Marine Corps Rapid Capabilities Office is soliciting ideas and information for a high-tech portable system that launches drones, with the idea being to provide Marines with a tool capable of conducting reconnaissance missions — and attacking enemies Kamikaze-style.
On Monday, the corps released a request for information (RFI) document for a yet-to-be-designed system the service has dubbed "Organic Precision Fire." The weapons system is essentially another piece of artillery but with unmanned aerial vehicles worked in that can dive bomb after targeting an object from the air.
Formally known as "loitering munitions," the service requires that the drones be able to add artillery range that extends past the M777 155mm Ultra Lightweight Field Howitzer's 40 km (25 mile) reach. Specifically, the document outlines a requirement for the system to strike targets up to 60 km (37 miles) away.
Ideally, a single Marine will be able to fit a launch canister no greater than eight feet in length and 10 inches in diameter into an ALICE military pack, according to information listed in the solicitation.
Companies can submit entries to the Marine Corps for ideas on how to build, design, manufacture and demonstrate the Organic Precision Fire platform until May 18.
While hype may naturally build around the futuristic drone weapons system, it's worth noting that the Marine Corps' RFI states that "this request for information does not constitute a request for proposals or the existence of a firm requirement."