Last year, the Navy detailed a concept in which numerous drone boats would swarm a potential adversary, overwhelming it to protect larger vessels carrying American forces. The craft would be enabled by advanced sensors and software that was initially developed by NASA for use on the Mars rover, Navy officials said.

The Navy doesn’t want to just use swarm technology at sea, however. The concept also applies in the air, for which the service is developing a launcher that can rapidly fire drones to provide overhead surveillance and launch strikes from numerous locations. The Office of Naval Research just released this video to explain:

The drone launcher is known as the Low-Cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Swarming Technology program (LOCUST). It fires the drones from tubes and enables information sharing between the drones, allowing them to work together on both offensive and defensive mission, Navy officials said.

The launcher and the drones are both small enough for them to be deployed from ships, vehicles, aircraft and larger drones. The Office of Naval Research has been testing the system at numerous locations in the last month using Coyote drones. They have been used in a variety of missions in the past, including information gathering after one of them, for instance, was flown into Hurricane Eduoard last summer.

The military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) also has been experimenting with swarm technology. The major emphasis of its Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment (CODE) program is finding a way for pilots to operate more than one drone at a time ????along with his aircraft.