It is a highly versatile, dragonfly-like machine that can fly rather quickly and can be used to scout out terrain before engaging a larger number of troops. It can also detect disguised or stealthed units.
The Burst Drone will self-destruct in an EMP explosion, hopefully damaging anything around it. May cause grief, best used when attached to vehicles.
The burst drone has the ability to attach itself to other vehicles or aircraft. This will slow the host vehicle down and also allow the Empire to scout enemy bases on their backs. Alternatively, they can also self-destruct, damaging the host vehicle as well as surrounding vehicles, making it useful when used in swarms. Since it is extremely quick, other units may not be able to destroy it before it attaches to a vehicle. For example, a few drones could easily overwhelm the Allied Athena cannon.
In order to remove the Burst Drone from a vehicle or aircraft, it will have to be brought to a Soviet Crusher Crane, Allied Airbase, Seaport or Armor Facility, or the Empire of the Rising Sun's Imperial Docks or Mecha Bay. The drones are then removed when the factory drones repair the host unit. Light infantry units can remove them too.
They should always be approached with extreme caution. The best way to get rid of the drones is to set anti-air defenses against them. Since their armour is minimal, they can be destroyed easily.
- Red Alert 3 beta patch 1.3:
- attached speed penalty increased to 50% from 25%
- received a 40% damage scalar against nanocores
- attached burst drones can be directly targeted
- Red Alert 3 patch 1.05:
- fixed a bug where burst drones were not inflicting damage when activating their self-destruction ability before attaching to a vehicle
- attached burst drones will now show up on the mini-map
- Red Alert 3 patch 1.08: vulnerability to flak and auto-cannon damage reduced by 25%
- In the cutscene before Ride of the Red Menace, one of the BCN news tickers read "Pilot who claims crash was caused by a giant dragonfly now undergoing therapy". Presumably, the crash was caused by a burst drone.
- The burst drone will bleed if shot by gunfire, possibly because it is classified as infantry since it is produced from the Instant dojo.
- When ordered to self-destruct, they will emit a sound that resembles "さよなら" (sayonara), which means "goodbye" or "farewell" in Japanese.
- In real life, a similar device was developed in the 1970s by the CIA a miniaturized dragonfly-looking UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) and listening device "Insectothopter".