Someone Shot Down A $200 Drone With A $3M Patriot Missile

We’ve heard about people shooting down drones buzzing over their property, but this takes things to a whole new level: A store-bought quadcopter drone has been shot down by a Patriot surface-to-air missile.

“That quadcopter that cost 200 bucks from did not stand a chance against a Patriot,” said Gen. David G. Perkins, commander of the US Army Training and Doctrine Command, in a speech posted to YouTube on Monday by the US Army and first reported by the BBC.

The missile wasn’t fired by the US, but by someone Perkins described as an ally “dealing with an adversary,” suggesting it wasn’t a test.

Patriot missiles are radar-guided missiles designed to shoot down other missiles, meaning they’re suited to small, fast-moving targets like drones. However, Perkins explained that while the Patriot made short work of the quadcopter, it wasn’t a very economically sound way of dealing with malicious drones. A single Patriot missile can cost around $3.4 million (roughly £2.7 million or AU$4.4 million).

Describing small unmanned aerial vehicles as a commander’s problem rather than an air defense problem, Perkins suggested alternative methods for tackling enemy drones such as electronic warfare and cyber measures. You can see Perkins’ talk below, with the relevant section starting about 14 minutes in.


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