DEFENDING U.S. FORCES AGAINST ENEMY DRONES
Enemy use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) is a growing threat to U.S. forces because of their low cost, versatility, and ease of use, according to a recent U.S. Army doctrinal publication. “The UAS is the most challenging and prevalent threat platform to combined arms forces and therefore, a logical choice for enemy use.” See Techniques for Combined Arms for Air Defense, Army Techniques Publication (ATP) 3-01.8, July 29, 2016.
As is the case with U.S.-operated drones, enemy UAS can be used to perform a range of functions from battlefield surveillance and targeting to precision strike, the Army document said. “The enemy will use UAS to fulfill multiple attack roles.” The drone may deliver a weapon or be used as a weapon itself. “As an indirect attack platform, the UAS has the ability to carry the improvised explosive device or become the improvised explosive device.” “Perhaps the most dangerous COA [course of action]… is the Swarm” in which “clusters of UAS” are used by an adversary simultaneously for surveillance, indirect attack and direct attack. What to do about this? The answer is not fully articulated in the Army manual.