Flying bazooka drones are now a real thing” is the succinct headline for my piece in PM about the latest development from Russia.

It looks like one of the larger DJI multicopters struggling to carry a rocket launcher, and it is certainly able to loose rockets (though not necessarily quite as accurately as the makers might like) — which makes for an impressive video. But what is really notable is the software behind it.

Because these drones have the capacity for autonomous operation

“These robots can navigate through the air without the support of an operator, choose their own routes, carry out reconnaissance work, and interact with other drones and robotic systems,” says Dmitry Skokov, Deputy CEO of makers UIMC.

This autonomy is not limited to flying around and taking pictures of pre-planned locations. These drones can fight on their own, too. “The attack multicopter can detect and destroy enemy targets, including tanks and armored vehicles.”

They are designed to work in groups. So in principle a number of these could be set loose in a free-fire zone to locate and destroy targets at will. That will nullify any attempts to stop them by jamming — as well as creating huge ethical issues about killer robots.