The US has developed a drone interceptor that fires what seems to be a form of Silly String into their rotors, bringing them down with minimal threat of unintentional harm.
The interceptor was created by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It is launched from a automobile and guided by radar that may robotically determine and monitor small drones.
Once the interceptor has a goal drone in sight, it releases string-like streamers – their actual composition is unknown – to disable it. The system may also launch a number of interceptors to deal with a number of incoming drones concurrently, and the interceptors are reusable.
DARPA says it needs to present drone defences for convoys and different cellular models in closely populated areas, the place regular navy weapons would create an excessive amount of threat of civilian casualties. Existing interceptor drones, just like the Coyote already utilized by the US navy, carry an explosive warhead, whereas different initiatives depend on nets or ramming, which require extra exact aiming.
The company has additionally developed different, unspecified, non-explosive anti-drone weapons and one other interceptor which resembles a small plane, however hasn’t launched a video demonstrating them. They must also be safer than explosive countermeasures.
“The issue of a hostile drone – potentially with explosives attached to it – falling to the ground and possibly injuring civilians exists,” says Robert Bunker, safety analyst with C/O Futures. “But it’s a far better option than targeting such a drone with indiscriminate machine gun fire.”
Because it doesn’t require explosives, this sort of interceptor may also be appropriate for civilian use, akin to defending airports, sports activities stadiums and different weak websites. But Bunker notes that, if interceptors change into widespread, counter-countermeasures will evolve.
“We may see a sort of escalation the place hostile fighter drones shield the bomber ones from the counter-drones, as we see with manned-aircraft,“ he says.
Jack Watling of UK defence assume tank RUSI says that the streamer-firing interceptor seems conceptually sound, however the reliability and value of the system should still be points. From a navy viewpoint it has just one perform; in contrast to most weapons it can’t be used in opposition to different targets, which can make it unpopular, he says. “I would be surprised if this particular concept becomes widely fielded within the military.”
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