Global guerrilla swarming attacks on infrastructure represent a strategic threat to nation-states, particularly when combined with easy to use, low cost, homemade microwave weaponry (and other homemade HERFs). NOTE: This brief is focused on advanced tactics and not likely to occur in the shortrun. However, mobility within an urban environment is difficult to maintain when critical infrastructure (like transportation networks) are disrupted. A good method by which global guerrillas can gain and maintain a significant mobility advantage over emergency reponse forces is by using ultralight aircraft (unregulated, inexpensive, lightweight aircraft that don't require pilot licenses or airfields).
Ultralight aircraft are the equivalent of the horse used by horse archers (the original swarmers). They add a level of mobility to global guerrilla operations necessary for a comprehensive urban take-down. Here's why ultralights are effective for this:
- Inexpensive. The cost of an ultralight range between $15-20,000. Fuel costs are in the low hundreds per flight.
- Relatively easy to use. In contrast to commercial aircraft operation, ultralight training is easy (only ten to twenty hours of flight time is necessary for competance).
- Easy to navigate. The combination of slow speeds and handheld GPS devices makes navigating a complex attack pattern extremely simple.
- Night flight possible. Low level night flight with commercially available night vision goggles is easier than conventional aircraft (due to low speeds). This altitude would make extremely hard to detect and neutralize (it would look like a ground vehicle).
- Runways are plentiful. Virtually any road or field of of 300 ft can launch an ultralight.
- Logistics and transportation are less difficult than conventional aircraft. Ultralights can be packed into a van and driven to any location. Ultralights use standard liquids.
The addition of ultralight mobility to global guerrilla swarming operations provides a mobility advantage that would be very difficult to defend against (even in a military intensive environment like Iraq, so knowledge of an operation of this type will likely not result in any meaningful defense). In combination with stand-off capability afforded by homemade HERF devices (particularly in the 20-30 GHz range) the weapon system becomes very potent. Ultralights would allow maneuver to the target facility within the 200 ft range of such a device (these HERF devices can even burn out auto electronics for transportation disruption). The 100 lb payload capability would more than handle a portable generator, additional fuel, and the device electronics. GPS navigation would allow precise attack patterns that would allow the guerrilla to hit dozens of critical targets in a short period of time (< 1 hour). Recovery of aircraft could be accomplished within hours of landing and enable transportation to another urban location for repetition of the operation.
The elements required for an ultralight, HERF-enabled swarming operation are basic (think about this with Ghawar in mind). They include:
- Two cells of 5 people (warm bodies are all that are required).
- $100,000 in funding.
- Two months of time for training, equipment consolidation, and planning.
- Less than $30,000 for ultralights.
- Less than $20,000 for HERF electronics (magnetrons, etc.).
- Less than $10,000 for NVGs (night vision goggles) and GPS navigation devices.
- Less than $10,000 for vehicles, fuel, etc.
- Less than $30,000 for housing, food, transportation, etc.