US Army Developing Drone Defensive Weapons

Over the last several years, advances in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), also called drones, have been many. In fact, drones are now used by military personnel for a variety of purposes. Another fact is that the drone market has opened up to civilians. This, of course, presents a new threat as civilians will be able to arm drones and use them as weapons of terror. This new threat required the US Army to develop new defensive measures.

It has been reported that the Army is finishing up testing and will soon have a new type of weapon to use to combat drones that may present a threat to people, military installations, or government buildings. Just one example of how drones can be a threat took place when one was landed on the White House lawn not long ago.

To date, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has set in place no-drone-zones around the nation’s capital; a 15-mile no-fly zone at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport; and no-fly zones around much of southern and central Maryland and northern Virginia. Other areas have also been identified as no-drone zones as well.

In response to the increasing threat, more drones are being sold on the civilian market each year, the Army was tasked with developing defensive weapons. The Army agency heading the work is the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF), headed up by Col. Steve Sliwa. Along with the REF, other agencies such as the Asymmetric Warfare Group and the Fires Center of Excellence have been helping in development.

Fly DroneFinding a solution that actually works has not been easy. Small arms fire has been proven to be ineffective in bring down drones that were armed with explosives. Not only is it very difficult to hit the target with rifles, shotguns, or even machine guns, but when they are hit they tend to remain airborne. Also, just knowing that a threat-drone was close to its target was difficult as these small craft can be hard to detect.

One successful venture came out from a company called Battelle with its DroneDefender system. This is a shoulder-fired weapon that uses radio waves to cut or disrupt the connection between the controller device and the drone. Much of the details concerning the system are being kept under wraps for obvious reasons. But some details are known.

The system is very effective in the range of several hundred meters. The system is portable, but requires two persons to move it about. It can be set up with a more advanced Israeli-made radar. When properly assembled, it has a 360 degree view (radar) and more.

The DroneDefender is not the only system being looked at and Army officials have said that they hope to select a working system within six months, according to Col. Sliwa. “We are very close to putting a capability forward,” Sliwa commented. “It should be reassuring for those that are concerned about this … there is testing going on and I think in the very near future, there will be an equipping decision of some sort to at least get an interim capability to take on the threat.”

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Robert Partain

Robert Partain has been a professional writer for over 25 years. He spent ten years on active duty in the Army working as a medic and training NCO. While he covers any topic associated with military life, he specializes in writing about legislation that can affect active duty service members and veterans. Robert currently lives in the small town of Arab, Alabama.
Robert Partain

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