The use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) by world militaries has dramatically increased, leading the US to develop defences against possible enemy UAS attacks, according to a US Army report.
The world's UAS inventory has grown from approximately 20 system types and 800 aircraft in 1999, to more than 200 system types and approximately 10,000 unmanned aircraft in 2010, said Nancy Elliott, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Army's Fires Center of Excellence,or FCOE, at Fort Sill, Okla.
In many cases, unmanned aircraft are used to gather intelligence with cameras and sensors which may include jamming the electronics from its ground controller or shooting down the system.
According to Elliott, the increasing rise in drones’ usage may pose a threat to the United States.
In 2012, the U.S. Army Armaments Research, Development and Engineering Center, known as ARDEC partnered with the Navy's Office of Strategic Systems Programs and successfully demonstrated the capabilities of fire-control radar to detect, track, and characterize UASs.
This information was then used to veer a remote weapon station gimbal at the threat UAS, emulating a potential defeat system.
Given the success in being able to accurately detect and track unmanned systems, in fiscal year 2013, ARDEC directed its focus on integrating the fire control radar with a variety of current weapon systems that could potentially neutralize the UAS threat.
After a System of Systems analysis, the integrated C-UAS System of Systems included three different end-to-end "kill chain" capabilities.
According to ARDEC Project Officer Hannibal People, ARDEC was proven to be successful with its effort in 2013, since the integrated System of Systems showed as a promising solution after defeating the UAS threat at two different test events.
This ability marks the first time a small class UAS has been defeated by a prototype U.S. Army "gun launched" munition using a novel warhead design.