Amazon Drone Shot Down With Patriot Missile
At the recent Association of the United States Army (AUSA) symposium, General David Perkins told the audience about an incident where a close ally of the U.S. used a £2.5 million patriot missile to shoot down $200 drone purchased from Amazon.
The incident, which has been described by commentators such as Justin Bronk of the Royal United Services Institute as “overkill”, was recounted to an audience of military personnel and military supply company representatives. News of the incident was used by the General in his speech in order to illustrate the kinetic / economic challenge facing military commanders (of all nations) where cheap technology is now being used by adversaries for attacks.
Quadcopter From Amazon
The drone was reported to be a $200 quadcopter purchased from Amazon, but the details of exactly which ‘close’ US ally chose to fire such an expensive, sophisticated and powerful weapon at the shop-bought drone has not been revealed.
Patriot missiles typically fly at five times the speed of sound, whereas the top speed of a quadcopter drone is approximately 80km/h. Whilst the General pointed out, as may be expected, that the missile was extremely effective at eliminating the drone (the kinetic exchange ratio was good), he was eager to point out that the ‘economic ratio’ of this kind of response was not good.
The General expanded the point by saying that, as a strategy, this would be at least disastrous economically if an enemy decided, for example, to purchase and use multiple and cheap drones, knowing that they would be attacked with missiles costing hundreds of millions of dollars.
Electronic Warfare and ‘Cyber’ Approach
General David Perkins highlighted the fact that faced with attacks using cheap, widely available and evolving technology, military commanders will soon have to employ a wider variety of tactical defence options available to them, including electronic and cyber warfare, to enable a response that is effective, proportionate, and economically viable.
Drones Common Sight in the Near Future
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
This story helps to illustrate how different kinds of fairly sophisticated and often unregulated technologies (not just drones) are now becoming available, for relatively low prices, and can be used for wrong-doing.