Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are gradually gaining ground and the U.S. Army is now testing technology to blast them if necessary.
If any hostile drones are soaring the skies, the U.S. Army wants to be able to do something about it. With this in mind, U.S. Army engineers are working on new technology that would allow the military to blast UAVs that pose a threat.
A new press release from the U.S. Army reveals plans to develop a cannon-like solution to counter C-RAM technology, which includes counter rockets, artillery and mortars.
Some drones directed near the White House made the news recently, and various reports related to UAVs suggest a potential threat. The new research aims to come up with a method of defense against such potential threats from UAVs.
Manfredi Luciano, project officer for the Extended Area Protection and Survivability (EAPS) program, highlights that the increase in drone use makes this type of research a priority.
Luciano further notes that every country has drones now, with various levels of performance, armed or not armed. This "huge threat" needs to be addressed and is of utmost importance, "almost more important than the counter-RAM threat."
The number of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) has exploded in recent years and continues to grow, which is why the potential threat is becoming more alarming. For now, the main defense approach for such cases relies on a C-RAM defense system that uses missiles, but the U.S. Army wants to create a gun-based alternative.
According to the press release, this gun-based alternative for defense against UASs would materialize into a 50mm cannon able to spew guided missiles. Engineers envisioned the cannon with a precision-tracking radar sensor, a fire control computer and a radio frequency transmitter/ receiver.
Luciano further explains that part of the goal is to reduce the electronics within the interceptor as much as possible and make it cheaper. Toward this endeavor, the machine would allow computation input on the ground station, having the information sent up through the radio frequency.
Back on Apr. 22, the U.S. Army conducted an integrated system test that involved blasting a Class 2 UAS mid-air. The purpose of the test was to demonstrate how guided ammo could intercept and destroy potential aerial threats.
The next test, meanwhile, will focus on intercepting an UAS under "a more difficult engagement scenario," Luciano further reveals.
Both the U.S. Army and Navy could use such technology with their air defense systems, but it's still in testing for now.