U.S. Army soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment successfully disabled a drone during a training exercise at Fort Bliss, New Mexico. The footage, captured by Sgt. Steven Hitchcock, demonstrates the Batelle’s DroneDefender, an anti-drone weapon that utilizes a non-kinetic solution to defend against unmanned aerial systems and avoid collateral damage.
Anti-drone weapons are a welcomed technology for troops fighting militant groups in the Middle East. Just a few weeks ago, a U.S. official said ISIS has been using small, off-the-shelf aircraft as time bombs in the city of Mosul, for example.
“A top priority for me at the moment is this emerging danger that we’re seeing in the Middle East in respect to unmanned aerial systems—these cheap, buy-them-over-the-internet, small drones,” said U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James. “And if explosives are placed on them, as we’ve seen a handful of times now in Syria and Iraq, they can do damage.”
Although James didn’t mention specific anti-drone weapons, Army officials have already tested the DroneDefender, which utilizes radio waves to disable unmanned aircraft. When paired with radar, the shoulder-fired weapon can also detect drones from several kilometers away.