This $38,000 Anti-Aircraft Missile Is Used for Taking Down Hobby Drones
Security agencies are getting legitimately worried about the use of hobby drones as tools of terrorism and surveillance. Islamic State has weaponized drones and the skills of amateurs have been demonstrated time and time again. Defense contractor, Raytheon think they have the answer. They have modified their widely used anti-aircraft missile to include proximity fuzes that explode in the vicinity of a set target.
In a test at the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida earlier in the year, the modified weapon intercepted and destroyed “two small unmanned airborne systems” aka drones for the first time. This is a pretty hefty piece of equipment to take out a fairly fragile piece of technology. The modified missiles can be launched from the ground or from attack helicopters. Each weapon costs about $38,000. Check the video for all the action of the attack, and even if it might seem like overkill, it does make some good video footage.
Raytheon is sure this is the answer to defending against drones but other safer and expensive options also exist, one option would be to use electromagnetic cannons that prevent a drone pilot operating their aircraft with full control. Or the US could follow the Netherlands lead and go for a far more old school method, training eagles to destroy drones. Dutch police are training eagles to tackle suspicious drones. While it sounds like a good idea, we think they might have watched a little too much Game of Thrones.