A US ally reportedly has used a $3 million worth Patriot missile to shoot down a $200 worth drone aircraft.
"A very close ally used the surface-to-air missile to bring down the drone, US General David Perkins told a military symposium.
"When we started first dealing with enemy unmanned aerial systems, the gut instinct was that’s an air-defense problem. That's an air-defense problem because they’re in the air," he was quoted as saying by Independent Uk reported today.
Radar-guided Patriots are intended to intercept other missiles, which would theoretically make them suitable for small, nimble targets like drones. But a single missile can cost between $2.5 million and $3.4 million.
Patriots are radar-guided missiles designed to shoot down enemy missiles, travelling at five times the speed of sound to strike its target.
Using the expensive missile was "overkill and potentially ineffective." Colin Bull, a research consultant with software testing company SQS, said. "If drones fall in to the wrong hands, there’s currently nothing to stop someone flying a payload laden drone into restricted airspace, without action such as this taking place." he added.
Instead of using expensive military resources to deal with potentially rogue drones, implementing regulation and the standardisation of radio frequencies, on which drones operate, is vital to combat such threats, he said.
"Ultimately, this makes it easier for security teams to use jamming devices to stop a suspect drone from entering the space." Bull added. Even though there are benefits of drones, they must be embraced and feared in equal measures, he said.
"They might look pretty innocent, but on closer inspection, what you find can be terrifying. Putting it bluntly, these devices are in fact a flying payload system with the ability to deliver anything, including incendiary devices or grenades." He added.