Marines Took Out Iranian Drone for the Cost of a Tank of Gas

USNI News | 7/19/2019 | Sam LaGrone
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Instead of a using an almost-million-dollar Navy missile, Marines splashed a hostile Iranian drone on Thursday for about the cost of a couple of gallons of gas.

During a transit through the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf on Thursday, Marines – operating a new electronic warfare system on the deck of USS Boxer (LHD-4) – downed a hostile unmanned aerial vehicle 1,000 yards from the amphibious warship.

Marine - Air - Defense - Integrated - System

The new Marine Air Defense Integrated System (MADIS) used is a combination of components that includes electronic jammers, radars and gun systems to take out UAVs. The version of the system aboard Boxer was mounted on an MRZR that was perched on the bow of the ship and was powered by a gasoline electrical generator, according to photos released from the service. The Marine Corps did not immediately respond to a request for additional information on the system.

The encounter is the first known kill by a new generation of electronic warfare and directed energy weapons the U.S. has developed over the last decade to handle the daunting problem of how to counter voluminous, low-end threats without resorting wasting high-dollar missiles, naval analyst and retired Navy officer Thomas Callender told USNI News on Friday.

Navy - Marines - Swarms - Vehicles - Ship

In particular, both the Navy and Marines have been concerned about swarms of cheap but lethal unmanned vehicles that could overwhelm a ship or ground unit’s defenses.

It’s a tricky problem. Defenses on U.S. warships are optimized for the high-end threats, and firing expensive missiles to intercept a drone that’s a fraction of that cost puts Americans at a cost disadvantage.

Example - Boxer - RIM-7 - Sea - Sparrow

For example, Boxer fields short-range RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missiles that cost about $170,000 each and the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile that costs shy of a million dollars apiece. Either, or a combination of both, would have likely been used to down the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: USNI News
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