Recent advances in technology allow combat drones to operate as a swarm—similar to their vespidae counterparts. This article posits a controversial position that the technological uniqueness of individual drones acting as a swarm necessitates a thorough deconstruction of the applicable legal framework. In other words, does the unique way in which a swarm operates lawfully comply with both jus ad bellum and jus in bello parameters? Crucial to this discussion, is to examine the extent to which a swarm is programmed both offensively and defensively—with a view to exploring the algorithm of an automated response from other drones within the swarm. Within this broader question, the article seeks to scrutinise two specific areas. First, to what extent is the drone swarm’s architecture calibrated to comply with the cardinal self-defence parameters of necessity and proportionality should the swarm be attacked? And secondly, is the ‘swarm’ capable of being fully jus in bello compliant in terms of distinction and proportionality and the duty to take precautions (‘The General Principles’).