Espreso. Global

How to combat FPV drones and whether active defense will help?

3 January, 2024 Wednesday
17:00

The question of how to counter FPV drones and conventional drops is becoming more relevant every day, as a new batch of videos appears showing expensive armored vehicles being destroyed by these extremely cheap means

Defense Express writes about this.

The article notes that for NATO countries, this situation is more than critical because when a $500 FPV drone can destroy, or at least send a tank worth more than $32 million for long repairs, it is critical. At the same time, only recently has a mass-produced solution appeared to combat other threats that have existed for a long time, such as rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank missiles. The answer to this was the defensive aide suite (DAS), which detects the approach of a threat and destroys enemy ammunition on approach with a directed explosion in automatic mode.

And the first really popular serial model of such an active defense system was the Israeli Trophy from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, which is installed on Leopard 2 and Abrams. There are alternatives, including another Israeli complex, Iron Fist from Elbit Systems, or the German StrikeShield from Rheinmetall.

The first actual combat use of the Trophy during Israel's war against Hamas demonstrated that this system does not always work as it is supposed to. Moreover, it does not react to drones with drops.

A much bigger problem is the system's ability to recognize the threat itself and separate it from a false one. It's one thing to separate a piece of soil that has flown out from under a crawler from a rocket-propelled grenade, and another to separate a drone from a bird. And that's not all, because the DAS has a banal question of ammunition.

That is, now the serial versions of defensive aide suite need to be adapted to new types of threats in the form of drones, which means time, money, and efficiency.

Alternatives for DAS

Defense Express states that the DAS has quite interesting alternatives to counter drones. And it's not just about projects with combat lasers, which require a significant increase in the energy capabilities of an armored vehicle. And not even just about EW, whose portable system is already an obvious situational solution.

First, any electronic warfare system works in both directions and second, it can only have an impact until drones massively acquire "machine vision" and no longer depend on communication with the operator at the terminal area.

But attention can be paid to two alternative systems. The first is a system that will blind drones. After all, even "machine vision" requires an image from a camera, and it can already be blinded.

“The Australian Electro Optic Systems, which is known in Ukraine for supplying Slinger anti-drone anti-aircraft systems, has chosen this option, with a low-power laser that cannot destroy a drone but can make it "blind." Its new Dazzler combat module is designed to counter drones at a distance of up to 2 km using a laser system, and a traditional 30-mm automatic cannon is already being proposed for destruction,” the article explains.

The second way is to integrate an automatic drone tracking and destruction system into the tank's machine gun turret. Such systems are already operating quite successfully, in particular in Ukraine, and allow for the effective destruction of targets of this class.

At the same time, their effectiveness can be increased by using not machine guns, but a full-fledged automatic cannon with programmable detonation.

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