No threat is too big or too small when it comes to national security.
Amazon Drone vs. Patriot Missile
A close U.S. ally did not hesitate to fire at a tiny low-cost quadcopter drone using the Patriot, which is a 700-pound, 16.4-foot-long, high-powered missile.
"We have a very close ally of ours that was dealing with an adversary using small quadcopter drone. They shot it down with a Patriot missile," U.S. General David Perkins, commander of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, shared at an army symposium held last March 13 in Huntsville, Alabama.
"The Patriot won," Gen. Perkins added, humoring his audience. He refused to give further details about the incident.
What You Need To Know About Patriot Missiles
The Patriot is arguably one of the most expensive — costing a whopping $3 million — cutting edge, and powerful surface-to-air missile defense system of today.
Developed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, Patriot missiles are especially designed to defeat tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and aircraft worldwide. It has been a staple in the military arsenals of thirteen of the most prominent nations worldwide — including the United States, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Israel — since it hit the market in the 1980s.
The quadcopter drone in question, however, can be bought on Amazon.com at $200 apiece.
Justin Bronk, a researcher from the Royal United Services Institute, considers the incident an enormous overkill.
"It certainly exposes in very 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," Bronk stated.
Technology For Terrorism: Islamic State Uses Armed Drone In Northern Iraq
Despite the absurdity of the story, the use of highly weaponized drones to spread terrorism is actually happening today.
Islamic State fighters have done this in recent months, attacking deployed security forces in war-stricken Iraq. As a matter of fact, the feared terrorist group has officially announced earlier this year its latest "Unmanned Aircraft of the Mujahideen" unit, which is an armada of customized drones fitted with explosives, adding that its drones have already killed or hurt a total of 39 Iraqi soldiers in a span of one week.
Iraqis call the IS drones "tieyara," which is an Arabic term for UAV, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.