Shooting Down DRONES: Does the Future of War Look Like Terminator Skeet?

Shooting Down DRONES: Does the Future of War Look Like Terminator Skeet?

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Shooting Down DRONES: Does the Future of War Look Like Terminator Skeet?

A still from SilencerCo’s tongue-in-cheek “Johnny Dronehunter: Defender of Privacy” promotional video for their Salvo 12 shotgun suppressor. Although intended as humor, the idea of using shotguns or similar weapons to take down small, inexpensive drones is perhaps not so far-fetched after all.

It’s no secret that the field of war is changing, and that fact is just as true for the infantryman as it is the F-35 Lightning II pilot. Increasingly, small, inexpensive, expendable drones are being used as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) assets, as well as delivery platforms for light ordnance as well as kamikaze weapons. Today, the use of drones in this manner is in its infancy, but the next generation of purpose-built light combat drones is being designed and built right now. Israeli firms like Duke Robotics and UVision have already created armed and kamikaze (respectively) drone systems, and combatants in the Iraqi and Syrian Civil Wars famously used drones as delivery platforms for 40mm grenades. The use of civilian light drones as “snooping” devices has already spurred the development of anti-drone weapons for security forces, including both electromagnetic “rifles” that zap drones to take control of them, as well as more crude (but still effective) anti-drone shotgun payloads.

Purpose-built military ISR drones, however, will need new solutions. Their electronics will undoubtedly be hardened to electromagnetic attack, and their skins likewise will be reinforced with high strength kevlar fabrics or other armors that can repel low powered projectiles. Coupled with small size, speed, and maneuverability, this could make ISR drones a very difficult target to destroy for infantry forces.

Light fixed-wing drones are already a tough target to destroy, even for a whole firing line of machine guns.

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The correct solution to this problem will only be revealed in time, but for now we can brainstorm some possible new solutions. Automatic weapons fire is an obvious answer, but a light fixed wing drone is a very difficult target to hit and destroy, even for a machine gun. Perhaps automatic shotguns like the much-hyped-and-little-used AA-12 could improve hit probability even further, but such weapons would almost certainly need to be augmented with special ammunition such as high velocity multiple flechettes to be able to penetrate the skin of a purpose-built military ISR drone, similar to those designed for the Close Assault Weapon System (CAWS) program of the 1980s. High energy lasers offer another possible solution, but the power needed for such weapons would probably require batteries or generators too heavy for dismounted troops to routinely carry. Improved electronic optics could allow legacy weapons to successfully engage drones, as well, but specialized small arms optical sights designed to engage fast-moving drones exist only in theory at the moment. Maybe some of the best solutions lie in creative “low tech” weapons: Could under-barrel 40mm grenade launchers fire net payloads to tangle and disable the propellers or rotors of drones, bringing them down for recovery or destruction?

Whatever the answer ends up being, future wars will almost certainly be ones with drones and weapons designed to kill them. What do you think the best way to bring down a drone is? Let us know in the comments section below!

Hunting

via The Firearm Blog http://ift.tt/ywCWoj

September 11, 2017 at 07:08AM

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