The greatest challenge facing the U.S. military may not be Chinese nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles or Russian hypersonic weapons. Rather, it may come from unmanned aerial systems (UASs), or drones, in the hands of foreign militaries and violent extremist groups. The threat posed by small and medium sized drones is particularly acute. These platforms are extremely hard to detect and counter with traditional air defense systems. The U.S. military is fielding interim solutions to deal with these small UASs. A robust defense against large numbers of drones will probably require a combination of directed energy, electronic warfare, and cyber weapons. I have written more on this topic here.
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