By Evan Stewart
The threat of armed drone attacks has become all too real. Reports have already revealed that ISIS is now using small drones to drop bombs on Iraqi security forces as well as civilians.
The fact that drones are so cheap to purchase and so easy to obtain is causing increased difficulty in controlling their spread.
The military, in cooperation with several other government agencies, have placed a high priority on creating a solution to stop these drones, either by destroying them or jamming the link between the drone itself and the operator. Lt. Col. Dave Sousa, a member of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command, commented on the dedication the government has to putting an end to this threat, stating, “We’re looking at everything from shotguns to water cannons to other kinetic means. We are looking at lasers. We are looking at anything and everything that can help counter these threats.”
Currently, the Marine Corps in conjunction with the Office of Naval Research is in the process of developing a laser system, the Ground-Based Air Defense Directed Energy On-the-Move system, that will be capable of targeting drones and eliminating them. The drawback to this type of weaponry, however, is its limitations to be used in highly populated urban settings. Large buildings coupled with the quick movement of the drones could pose a difficult task in getting a clean shot at the target.
U.S. troops have been working closely with Iraqi security forces to take down ISIS drones over Mosul. Combining U.S. technical capabilities with Iraqi direct fire weapons systems has proven to be somewhat effective in taking out enemy drones.
Lt. Col. Sousa was unwilling to reveal specific technologies that the Marines are currently using, but said that assessments are being made on different types of equipment that can be used to combat and defeat enemy drones.