The increased popularity of recreational drones, lower costs, and relatively simple instructions have combined to make drones an attractive weapon of choice for terrorist groups, drug cartels, and other criminal organizations. These have all employed drones as an operational device to fly reconnaissance missions, drop explosives on enemy targets, and bomb military and civilian objectives.
Terrorists Increasing Drone Capabilities
While terrorists have been launching drone attacks since the early 2000s, recent trends show groups like ISIS and the Houthis attaining more advanced drone technology succeeding to attach a 20kg payload to drones. ISIS has carried out drone strikes against Kurdish and Iraqi forces. It has recently targeted Russian forces in Syria. Iranian-backed Houthis have flown multiple missions against Saudi and UAE targets, claiming to have bombed Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Slightly closer to home, it has been reported that in 2018 in the UK alone there were over 90 drone collisions, and recently an operator deliberately tried to crash a drone into a twin-jet aircraft.
Advantages and Likely Targets
Drones possess a significant advantage over more conventional military methods since an active shooter can only cover so much ground, while drones have the ability to strike from a greater distance, covering more space and going undetected. Likely targets for terrorist drone attacks include large social venues such as music concerts, sporting events, business conventions, government institutions, and military sites such as arms factories, airports, ships, tactical gear warehouses and nuclear facilities. As recent events may indicate, there’s also a threat of drones being used to target political leaders. One of the scariest scenarios for the West is a dirty bomb attack in which a terrorist-operated drone sprays nuclear materials over a Western metropolitan center.
As has always been the case, developments of new weaponry are alternated by advances in defense technology. It has become apparent that the drone threat posed by terrorists and rogue regimes requires new military solutions from the West.
SKYLOCK is an international leader in anti-drone technology that has already successfully installed systems in the Asia Pacific, and currently demonstrating systems at a number of international airports. These provide an answer to the rapidly increasing threats to commercial flights. SKYLOCK has integrated elements of three separate systems into one, allowing the operator to detect an enemy drone, observe its flight, neutralize it by jamming its signal, and finally, destroy it with a laser gun. The entire system can be fit into a container and transported by any truck.