Monday, February 27, 2017

Countering ISIS Drones

A recent video released by the Islamic State entitled "Knights of the Departments" shows us one of the new tactics used by ISIS in its battle to defeat "the infidel forces".  While not as sophisticated as their Western counterparts, in this video, you will see how Islamic State fighters are using drones to attack their opposition.

Here is the video in its entirety.  Please go to the 32 minute mark to see ISIS' drones in action:

As well, if you go to the 8 minute mark, you will see that ISIS is also using its drones for surveillance and tracking suicide bombers as well as attacking their enemies.

The video shows us that the munitions used in ISIS' drone program are relatively small and free-falling rather than being steered toward their targets using lasers, both aspects reducing the effectiveness of this weapon.  That said, as their video shows, raining "death from the skies" still does seem to actually hit their targets.

How are the coalition forces in the battle against ISIS defending themselves against ISIS' drone program.  Here is the outline of a contract awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense showing how the United States Air Force is planning to counter ISIS' drones:

"ELTA North America Inc., Annapolis Junction, Maryland, has been awarded a $15,553,483 firm-fixed-price letter contract for counter-unmanned aerial systems. Contractor will provide the procurement, delivery, and training of 21 Man Portable Aerial Defense System kits. Production of the kits will be performed in Israel, and delivery/training to continental U.S. locations is expected to be complete by July 28, 2017.  This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2016 and 2017 research, development, test, and evaluation; and procurement funds in the amount of $7,621,207 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts, is the contracting activity (FA8730-17-C-0016)."

For your information, Man Portable Aerial Defence System kits or MANPADS are shoulder-fired missiles that are generally used to shoot down aircraft as shown here:

Here is a video of a MANPAD shooting down a drone with a Stinger missile:

ELTA North America Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the largest government-owned aerospace company in Israel.  As shown on this video, IAI has developed a highly portable anti-drone system called "Drone Guard" which uses radar to detect, track and jam small drones as shown here:

It is interesting to see that, despite recent defeats, ISIS is still capable of waging what would be considered relatively sophisticated warfare.  One wonders how long it will be until ISIS has a drone system that can actively target its victims and evade detection by coalition forces.

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