How to Stop Weaponized Consumer Drones

By Ben Watson

October 18, 2018

Just a few months ago, a head of state was attacked with off-the-shelf consumer drones — an apparent first. It happened in broad daylight on August 4 in Venezuela. According to police, a pair of drones exploded and missed their target, presumed to have been the embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Experts break counter-UAV technology into four broad categories: 1) tracking, 2) jamming, 3) kinetic, and 4) hybrid, hijacking, and cyber-focused approaches.

There are rather a lot of options in Categories 1 to 3; and virtually none that have been proven effective in Category 4. That means if countering drones is your mission, you’ll need a good deal of money — and perhaps even more, patience — to diversify and work through numerous systems and gadgets and digital tools that might do the job.

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By Ben Watson // Ben Watson is news editor for Defense One. He previously worked for NPR's “All Things Considered” and “Here and Now” in Washington, D.C. Watson served for five years in the U.S. Army, where he was an award-winning combat cameraman and media advisor for southern Afghanistan's special operations command during the 2010-11 surge.

October 18, 2018