As Drones Change the Nature of Warfare, U.S. Military Opens Anti-Drone School

Something civilians might not grasp is how radically cheap drones are changing the face of warfare. Years ago the U.S. dominated this space with $40 million Predator drones. Now underfunded combatants—ISIS, Hamas, the Ukraine—can pick up a DJI drone for a couple hundred bucks and jury-rig some explosive attachments.

These are being used to devastating effect, in an incredibly cost-effective manner. This is actual combat footage of explosives being dropped on unsuspecting live troops and vehicles:

Consider the virtually negligible cost of the drone and explosives versus the costs of the vehicles, the lives of the soldiers, the training costs of the soldiers and the equipment they carry.

And since drones can beam footage back to their pilots, they can provide learning experiences with each attack, in a way that artillery cannot. Here is actual footage of a kamikaze drone being piloted into a troop transport:

One drone is difficult enough to deal with. What is a platoon to do, if they encounter a drone swarm in the field?

To date, there is no comprehensive defense system against drone attacks. That leaves once-dominant militaries like America’s vulnerable. In an effort to counter the threat, the U.S. military has opened the Joint C-SUAS (Counter-Small Unmanned Aerial Systems) University, where they aim to train 1,000 troops a year in a variety of the latest anti-drone countermeasures. The Wall Street Journal was allowed to visit the facility and observe some of the training:

It’s a little dismaying to see just how ineffective the (revealed) counters look; shooting them out of the sky one by one? One can only hope that there are more effective techniques that are being kept under wraps.

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