The United States military may soon have the capability to attack its adversaries with thousands of drones simultaneously in a development that could have not just geopolitical but prophetic consequences as well.
In a presentation delivered at the National Defense Industrial Association conference held Aug. 28, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said the U.S. is working toward a “massive” drone program that would allow the military to locate and strike 1,000 targets in a 24-hour period using “cheap drones,” according to a report for U.S. defense industry trade outlet Defense One.
Using land, air and sea drones, Hicks told the conference the U.S. needs to counter what it sees as China’s “most important asset” in any potential war: “More ships. More missiles. More people.”
Under the Replicator initiative, the Department of Defense is working to create inexpensive unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the “multiple thousands” by 2025.
The initiative, said Hicks, is aimed at countering China’s buildup with a “mass of our own” and a “more nimble” military.
"To stay ahead, we're going to create a new state of the art — just as America has before — leveraging attritable, autonomous systems in all domains — which are less expensive, put fewer people in the line of fire and can be changed, updated or improved with substantially shorter lead times," Hicks said in a Defense Department statement.
Navy Adm. John C. Aquilino, commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, told the conference that China is “focused very clearly on delivering a force capable to take on the United States” and that officials with the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) are working to meet that challenge.
Aquilino said that means preparing to hit a large number of targets across a large geographical area.
“Here's a metric for me: 1,000 targets for 24 hours,” he reportedly told the conference.
While “swarming” drone technology already exists and has been used for events like the Super Bowl and as a safer replacement for fireworks, its military application will have the ability to “replicate” the process of manufacturing thousands of drones for swarming, according to Doug Beck of the DOD’s Defense Innovation Unit.
“Replicator is obviously about replicating those things, but it's also [about] replicating that capability, because having to solve that problem that way, you've also got to create the capability to solve problems,” Beck was quoted as telling National Defense magazine.
It’s no secret that the military has been working on drone technology along with using artificial intelligence to analyze drone footage since at least 2018.
But what does this new technology have to do with the End Times - or does it?
Todd Hampson of the "Prophecy Pros Podcast" said while Scripture doesn’t overtly reference “drone swarms” and other UAV technology, it could point to a future, as-yet-unknown technology during the reign of the coming world leader depicted in the book of Revelation.
“The Antichrist is seen in Revelation Chapter 6 as having a bow but no arrows. This, I believe, indicates that he will come on the scene as a man of peace at first. He will win over the masses without the threat of war, initially,” Hampson told CP.
“But then in the very next seal judgment it says, ‘to him was given a large sword.’ This clearly indicates that he will then be given control of the world's most powerful military technology and forces,” he added. “This could include [artificial intelligence], drone technology, nuclear weapons, and other yet-unseen technologies.”
While some prophecy teachers see a drone-like technology emerging in Revelation 9, Hampson said he disagrees.
“The context is clear that these are some type of literal demonic locusts that come out of the abyss,” he added.
Whatever your position on eschatology, Hampson, whose latest book The Non-Prophet'sGuide to the Book of Daniel is set to debut Oct. 3, said it’s clear from current events that the world is moving closer to that historical climax known as the Day of the Lord.
“The Day of the Lord — that future time of God's judgment on Earth — is clearly approaching,” he said. “Thankfully, the rapture will occur first and that will be the domino that sets all final End Time events in motion.
“Now more than ever, we need to leverage the news of the day to point people to Christ for salvation.”