An ally of the US has used a Patriot Missile to shoot down a small quadcopter. A US general revealed the incident but noted it’s not exactly an economical tactic.
The Patriot Missile system has been in use since 1984 but came to prominence during the first Gulf War. It’s primarily designed to use radar to find and intercept inbound missiles.
General David Perkins said of the incident “That quadcopter that cost 200 bucks from Amazon.com did not stand a chance against a Patriot.” It’s far from clear that the Amazon reference was meant literally rather than as a general example of the type of device targeted by the missile.
Perkins did not detail where the incident took place or who was involved. However, recent reports have claimed groups in Iraq have been targeting the country’s security forces by dropping grenades via quadcopter drones.
It appears Perkins highlighted the case to make a wider point about the challenges of adjusting from a traditional “nation vs nation” war to a battle between established armies and insurgency groups. He noted that with a Patriot missile costing around three million dollars and a quadcopter a couple of hundred dollars, one-for-one exchanges of weapons were not “a good economic exchange ratio.”
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