The joint force is confronting a new kind of threat: swarms of drones that are hard to track and less expensive to replace than the missiles used to intercept them. Over time, these unmanned systems will likely proliferate and acquire features that enable them to overwhelm conventional air defenses. Part of the solution is to rely more on non-kinetic defensive weapons, meaning systems that do not rely on missiles or other munitions to achieve kills. Among the non-kinetic options available within in this decade are sophisticated jamming, high-power microwaves, and lasers. Work must push forward in all three technologies while the drone danger is still in its infancy, otherwise America’s military may find itself returning to an earlier era when, as British prime minister Stanley Baldwin warned, “the bomber will always get through.” I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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