BAE Systems' new drone-hunting missiles can take down unmanned aerial systems

The experiments were done to prove the effectiveness of 70mm rockets.
Loukia Papadopoulos
BAE Systems' latest drone hunting missiles machine.jpg
BAE Systems' latest drone hunting missiles machine

BAE Systems 

BAE Systems has tested its latest drone hunting missiles machine by conducting ground-to-air test firings, according to a press release by the company published on Tuesday.

The experiments were done to prove the effectiveness of 70mm rockets guided by APKWS guidance kits against Class-2 unmanned aerial systems (UAS) that weigh roughly 25-50 pounds and can travel at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour. 

Rockets fired from a containerized weapon system

The demonstration was done in Southern Arizona and saw five APKWS-guided counter-UAS rockets fired from a containerized weapon system. They managed to destroy all targets, including fast-moving drones. The test results further demonstrate APKWS guidance kits' ability to enable low-cost, precision strikes against airborne threats. 

"Militarized drones are becoming more prevalent in conflicts around the world, and we're giving our customers an efficient way to counter them without wasting expensive missiles," said Greg Procopio, director of Precision Guidance and Sensing Solutions at BAE Systems.  

"Our tests demonstrate that APKWS guidance kits have the flexibility to engage a variety of targets to meet the evolving mission needs of the warfighter." 

The new rockets combine standard motors and warheads with APKWS guidance kits and proven proximity/point-detonation fuzes to destroy Class-2 aerial drones. "The resulting precision munition is a low-cost, supersonic, lock-on-after-launch strike weapon with a large 10-pound warhead that can destroy large drones in a matter of seconds with or without direct contact," said BAE Systems in its statement. 

BAE Systems' new drone-hunting missiles can take down unmanned aerial systems
The missiles can take down military drones

Highly effective against all kinds of targets

These new guided rockets are highly effective against several kinds of soft and armored stationary and moving targets. They can be fired from a variety of platforms, including jets, helicopters, trucks, boats, and weapon stations. 

APKWS guidance kits are the only U.S. government program of record for 70mm laser-guided rockets. They are available to all U.S. armed forces, as well as U.S. allies via Foreign Military Sales. 

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Other drone-hunting machines include the SkyWall Patrol, a netlaunching bazooka. The SkyWall is very intelligent. It is equipped with an A.I. computer that can identify a drone and analyze its movements to ensure capture.

The shoulder-mounted bazooka uses compressed air to fire its net, keeping the drone in one piece as it guides it back down to earth.  

Then, there is the DroneDefender, a lightweight point-and-shoot device. Weighing in at four kilos, the DroneDefender blocks all UAVs radio, GPS, and ISM signals, forcing the drone to return to its user and land. Though it is not fully commercially available yet, the United States Border Control, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense are already putting it to use.

Finally, there's Boeing's Anti-Drone "Death Ray" Truck. The weapon is mounted on a truck and is a High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator that uses an invisible laser beam to take down drones in almost any weather condition.

With all these weapons out there, it's a wonder any drones are flying around at all. What else will they invent to take drones out?