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Published: Fri, March 17, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

U.S. ally used Patriot missile to shoot down small drone

U.S. ally used Patriot missile to shoot down small drone

A $200 quadcopter drone has been shot out of the sky by a $4 million Patriot missile in an unidentified country, a United States general has revealed.

"When we started first dealing with enemy unmanned aerial systems, the gut instinct was that's an air-defense problem".

While Perkins did not reveal what country used the Patriot missile, it could only be one of the Netherlands, Japan, Germany, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Taiwan, Greece, Spain, South Korea, the UAE or Qatar.

Patriot missiles are radar-guided and capable of taking down small, fast-moving targets like drones.

"The problem is on the kinetic-exchange ratio, the Patriot won".

It's a $3m weapon that flies at five times the speed of sound, compared to 50mph for a normal quadcopter drone.

"Now, that worked, they got it... that quadcopter that cost $200 on Amazon.com did not stand a chance against a Patriot".

As Perkins noted, the disparity between the price of the Patriot and the price of the drone calls the overall wisdom of the tactic into question.

And though he gave no further details of the destruction, he described the party that launched the missile as being a "very close ally".

"I'm not sure that's a good economic exchange ratio", Perkins said.

Patriots are radar-guided missiles created to shoot down enemy missiles, travelling at five times the speed of sound to strike its target.

The radar-guided Patriot missile travels at Mach 5 and were created to knock down incoming enemy missiles. However, recent reports have claimed groups in Iraq have been targeting the country's security forces by dropping grenades via quadcopter drones.

According to Wikipedia, the MIM-104 Patriot is a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system used by the United States Army and several allied nations.

"There's ways to get at this with electronic warfare, with cyber", he said.

"It exposes in very stark terms the challenge militaries face in dealing with the adaptation of cheap and readily available civilian technology".

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