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Store-bought quadcopter destroyed by $4m Patriot missile

17 March, 2017, 01:05 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • Reuters

In January, the US Air Force placed an order for net-filled shotgun shells created to shoot down unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

While the Islamic state has started strapping explosives onto drone to make them accurate weapons, the USA lacks a cost effective way of knocking them out.

According to news reports, United States general David Perkins revealed the Goliath-smashing-David-event a military symposium.

"That quadcopter that cost 200 bucks from Amazon.com did not stand a chance against a Patriot", said Gen. David G. Perkins, during a speech posted to YouTube on Monday by the US Army.

Perkins did not provide details on which USA ally used the Patriot to shoot down the drone.

As Perkins noted, the disparity between the price of the Patriot and the price of the drone calls the overall wisdom of the tactic into question.

"I'm not sure that's a good economic exchange ratio", Perkins said.

Radar-guided Patriots are meant to intercept other missiles, which would theoretically make them suitable for small, nimble targets like drones.

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Patriots are radar-guided missiles created to shoot down enemy missiles, travelling at five times the speed of sound to strike its target.

The general did not say where the strike took place or which ally was involved.

Thirteen countries now have Patriot air-defense systems, according to Jane's.

The news comes amid reports that small drones are being armed with grenades and are being used by Islamic State to blast Iraqi forces and target refugees trying to flee Mosul.

Justin Bronk, a researcher at the Royal United Services Institute told the BBC that the case exposes in stark terms the challenge which militaries face in attempting to deal with the adaptation of cheap and readily available civilian technology with extremely expensive, high-end hardware designed for state-on-state warfare.

Because of that, Perkins said, drones are a commander's problem - because there are a lot of cheaper ways to shoot down a drone than with a giant anti-aircraft missile.

A store-bought quadcopter drone has been shot down by a Patriot surface-to-air missile.


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