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Drones are capable of all sorts of weird and wonderful things like shutting down airports to delivering medicines. Now a new drone developed in Russia can even shoot other drones out of the sky.
The Russian defense contractor, Almaz Antey has created a drone equipped with a Vepr-12 shotgun with a 10-round magazine. The drone is able to take off vertically but then flies like an airplane hunting down fellow UAVs.
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The drone is controlled by a pilot who wears a visor-wearing operator which connects via video link to the drone's camera. The pilot can direct the drone and aim the weapon.
Shotgun perfect choice for drone defense
The terrifying drone was built by the "Student Design Bureau of Aviation Modeling" at the Moscow Aviation Institute for Almaz Antey. The weapon choice was reportedly deliberate as a shotgun’s wide dispersal pattern makes it easier to hit a target than a rifle.
This isn’t the first drone Russia has developed with drone defense in mind.
The "Karnivora" drone carries net it uses to disable follow drones. It isn’t the first weaponized drone either. Obviously, drones are used widely by the USA as well as many other states in current conflicts.
Drone usage widespread
Drone technology of all sizes and scale is continually getting cheaper and more available. Weaponized drones will no doubt come to be the marker of contemporary warfare.
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With the rise of drones so has the anti-drone technology increased. Many armed forces are investigating ways to shoot down or disable thrones before they can cause damage either by firing weapons or via unwanted surveillance.
Anti-drone tech on the rise
These weapons range from net-counting air powered rifle to laser beams to signal blockers. Some are operated by individuals such as the ‘DroneGun’ which gets into the mind of the drone preventing it from being operated or controlled. DroneGun uses subversive electrical blocking to take out UAVs from as far as 1.2 miles away, thanks to its GLONASS positioning.
It forces the drone to land or returns to its owner immediately. Other more permanent ideas include The SkyFence which is used to protect small parcels of land or buildings. The SkyFence System uses a host of signal disruptors to jam the flight control signal of drones as they fly by, forcing them to fly back to where they originally took off.
This technology is being used in the UK over a prison in an effort to stop drug smuggling via drone. Other more novel ideas to disabling drones come from Europe where the Dutch police trained a fleet of Eagles to take down drones. Back in 2016, the police force shared a video of the impressive birds attacking a UAV.
Unfortunately, the anti-drone birds were quickly retired due to their somewhat inconsistent behavior. What would you do to take down a pesky drone? Slingshot? Net or well-trained bird?