I have reserved publishing these thoughts out of fear that I'd be providing enemies with information. Now that its gone MS, I feel much better about
it. End disclaimer
note: I write this only because they've already considered it. The best defense is never secrecy. Quite the contrary. Transparent analysis and
brainstorming is the only true defense to rapidly evolving threats.
I feel that miniature UAVs (hobby drones) present a clear and credible danger to us. These devices add an extra dimension to warfare capabilities. And
with all capabilities come exploitation.
Here is a scenario to better illustrate these concerns:
Rush hour. Several men sit atop a hill overlooking a busy freeway. They are poised to attack. Their weapons? A swarm of 50 mini-UAVs with HE IEDs. The
assailants carefully wait until they see an LP tanker crawling in traffic (thank you, LoadStain, for pointing out my first error!) . While the armada
begins their descent on the unsuspecting motorists, two drones split off and make their way for the gas tanker. With pre-attached magnets, they easily
couple to its hull. Using shaped charges, their payloads penetrate the metal and ignite the gas inside causing a massive explosion. Seconds later,
hordes of drones make suicide runs on the other vehicles using their HE warheads. This causes major confusion, chaos and many more are killed by the
How could this be prevented?
A few problems I can think of. Remember, when talking about preventing an attack, we have to accomplish 3 goals.
1) Detect the hostile equipment
2) Intercept the equipment before its payload detonates
3) Do so without causing more damage than the weapon itself
With this in mind, I infer the following points:
- Typical SAM systems wouldn't be very effective. For one, the patriot missiles themselves are quite powerful and would cause major damage.
- Each craft is very small. Even with a large swarm, given their altitude, would likely be invisible on radar.
- The flight time in this scenario provides a clear advantage to the attacker. The defenders response time is further impinges with detection and
- Jammers may work, unless they're programmed to kill power and detonate on impact with signal loss
- Projectile based AA systems would have to carefully asses their backdrop. A swarm would negate any advantage of,this type in an urban or populated
Lets also look at the viability factor. Given the destructive potential, relative low cost and huge media event, I believe it becomes attractive to
This is a relatively sophisticated attack, but doesn't require extraordinary technical expertise. Further, with the availability of high order
explosives (and ease of manufacture), it wouldn't take more than an intermediate level of explosive skills. The overall cost may reach into the 20k$
range, but that's nothing to an organization like ISIL.
What else can be done? What are some counterdrone tactics that could be used here?
edit on 2/6/2015 by JBurns because: second
edit on 2/6/2015 by JBurns because: title hook
edit on 2/6/2015 by JBurns because: edited title
edit on 2/6/2015 by JBurns because: added more points
edit on 2/6/2015 by JBurns because: technical inaccuracies