Unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, in the hands of this country’s adversaries, both states and terrorist organizations, pose a severe and growing challenge to the U.S. military. The proliferation of drones to hostile states and groups is altering the tactical battle space. For the first time, non-state adversaries have an air force. Drones provide terrorists and insurgents with critical intelligence and targeting information. Loaded with even a few pounds of explosives, drones are precision-guided weapons. A system to counter this threat must detect small flying objects, successfully engage them and do so cost-effectively. The U.S. Air Force is deploying such a system. I have written a commentary on this new capability here.
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