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A close ally of the U.S. launched a $3 million missile at a $200 drone

They're looking into something a bit more cost effective.


Phillip Tracy

Layer 8

Posted on Mar 16, 2017   Updated on May 24, 2021, 8:30 pm CDT

An unnamed ally of the United States used a $3 million Patriot missile to shoot down a quadcopter.

General David Perkins said a “a very close ally” of the United States used the anti-basaltic missile system against a lone drone. The general said the nation was dealing with an adversary and not doing testing, which suggests that this is the actual protocol for getting rid of a consumer UAV.

“They shot it down with a Patriot missile,” the general said, in comments shared by the U.S. Army on YouTube. “Now that worked. They got it, OK, and we love Patriot missiles. The problem is, on the kinetic exchange ratio they won. That quadcopter they bought on Amazon for 200 bucks didn’t stand a chance against the Patriot.”

Patriot projectiles are designed to travel five times the speed of sound under radar guidance to strike their enemy. It is the second most expensive missile in the world, after the $65 million Trident projectile.

Perkins did admit that using a Patriot missile wasn’t exactly a cost effective approach, “I’m not sure that is a good economic exchange ratio. If I’m the enemy I’m thinking, ‘hey I’m just going to go on eBay and buy all the quadcopters I can and expend all the Patriot missiles out there.’”

The general says they are looking at alternative ways of dealing with the issue, including using electronic or cyber-warfare. Those probably won’t come cheap, but they sound a lot more logical than throwing away $3 million every time someone needs to take out a drone.

If it really wants to save money, the U.S. military should look to the French or Dutch and start training eagles to do it. It doesn’t get more “patriot” than that.

H/T the Independent

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*First Published: Mar 16, 2017, 6:40 pm CDT