The Hammer Drones were remote-controlled military combat drones designed by Ivan Vanko as a refit of prototype technology commissioned by Justin Hammer. While Hammer had intended them to replace Iron Man, Vanko used them to take his revenge on Tony Stark.
Hammer was angry with Vanko when he discovered Vanko's refits, so he had him locked up before taking the drones to the Stark Expo for their unveiling. Vanko escaped and activated the drones and War Machine Armor to cause destruction at the show. The Air Force drones and War Machine began to chase Iron Man, only for the drones to be destroyed when they couldn't quite match the tight turns conducted by Iron Man.
After War Machine was freed from Vanko's control, he helped Iron Man fight the successive groups of Hammer Drones. The remaining drones were destroyed in a pitched battle by the combined efforts of Iron Man and War Machine. Vanko had also equipped them with a self-destruct system, which activated after he sustained mortal injuries. The wrecked drones all exploded, but without causing any casualties.
There are four different lines of drones, all inspired by branches from the United States Armed Forces. All have flight capability, and the air force model demonstrated enough thrust and vectoring capability to effectively chase Iron Man models of the second and sixth generation for several minutes.
- M32 M6L (multigrenade launcher)
- Chobham armor
- .50 Cal machine gun (shoulder mounted)
- Fixed point coil lasers
- FIM-92 Stinger missiles
- Thermal vision
- Vortex ring gun
- High definition cameras with Advanced Strategic Analysis
- Sealed armor
- EMS electromagnetic shielding