I was interested to see this video clip about DARPA’s Gremlins program for air-deployable, reusable unmanned aerial vehicles. The technology appears to be advancing by leaps and bounds.
When you consider this in the light of “swarm” UAV technology, it looks even more interesting. The day may not be too far away when almost all aerial activity over a heavily contested battlefield will be UAV’s, launched, recovered and supported from distant platforms, which may themselves be manned or unmanned.
It will work great until the first jammer gets turned on. It's fun to watch r/c planes wander around aimlessly as their control signals become unreliable, and the operators start overcorrecting and panicking.
How good is the encryption of their control signals these days? More than one has been captured by spoofing the control signal in the past.