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Given the rise of cheap, mass-produced, lightweight drones like the TB-2 in the Azerbaijan/Armenian war, what type of air defense would be most effect

Prince Kassad

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I don't know much about the capabilities of the drones, but given their heavy effectiveness in the recent conflict, what type of air defense would be most effective?

CIWS guns?

like the US Phalanx CIWS, but the caliber is only 20mm, would it have the range and effectiveness to shoot down drones, or at least the guided munitions of the drones?

Or would you need a higher caliber AA weapon to shoot it at? 30mms? The Oerlikon Mellenium 35mm by Rheinmetall comes to mind? It's range goes into the 3-5km range




Higher caliber autocannons like 57/75mm?

Could a Specialized Anti-Drone AA gun, maybe in the 57 or 75mm Range be useful?

Missiles?

In general, would a stinger missile or any other type of typical SAM even be worth it to be fired at a drone? Cost wise? How effective would they be and how easily could they be countered? Could you have a more drones than you have missiles situation?

You'd have to make a system armed with 10+ SAMs that don't need to be designed for high-performance fighters?

Aerial interception?

Drones are generally much slower moving, can't evade fire well, and drone strikes are often against targets deeper into enemy territory, Wouldn't even 4th or heck even 3rd generation fighters with A cannon armament be able to intercept them quite easily?

Why can't you just fly up to the Drone with a F16 or older Fighter and just shoot them down?

At the moment, drones have no Air to air capability, so couldn't you send up training jets or even propeller planes to shoot them down? P-51s back in service? Lol /s

But loitering AAMs, and eventual drone fighters wille come
 

Philosopher

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UAVs are certainly a major threat, but only if you're not expecting them and are not actively including them in your defence doctrine. Current low tier UAVs that are remotely controlled will be highly inefficient in a strong electronic warfare environment. Using Iran as an example, there was a famous case where Iran managed to hack into that RQ-170 and down it. As UAVs evolve and more autonomous systems become ubiquitous, then things will shift further. As I write this, the major threat from UAVs are coming from cheap, expendable UAVs that can act in swarming and suicide modes.

Regarding the above systems, detection is the key and more difficult issue, once that is done, indeed you can down these UAVs in a cost effective manner using AA systems ,SHORADS and Electronic warfare. This is the reactive method. Important thing is to be proactive and prevent the swarming of these systems into your vicinity and air-space in the first place. Air superiority and A2/AD are other key factors which will play essential roles in this regard. For example, destroying not only the UAVs, but command and control centres for them.

In the case of recent conflict in which UAVs are playing a role , these countries lack the sensor network to detect and the offensive means to properly down and nip these attacks in the bud to bring the overall damage to a minimum. I say minimum because no defence will be fully hermetic and a sophisticated adversary will always be able to use the blind spots in an air defence network by having a good knowledge to the electronic/radar map of the target. For example, look at the Iranian attack on the Saudi Aramco. The Iranian UAVs managed to penetrated the Saudi air defences using the blind spots of their patriots and successfully dismantled 50% of that facilities capacity:

1603049222851.png
 

Tai Hai Chen

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UAV are good but they are only useful against small weak opponents. They aren't effective against western countries.
 

hyperman

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you need significant dense network integrated radar coverage to detect them, b/c they have a small radar profile and heat signature, and a relatively quiet compared to a fighter jet.. One of the reasons why these drones have been so successful is b/c of a tandem use of them with Electronic warfare platforms. there is no effective defense against loitering munitions, b/c they are cheap, and can overwhelm an air defense with numbers, where even if several get destroyed a few will get through. Id say if you can't counter them in the air, deny them launch capacity.
 

TheSnakeEatingMarkhur

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I don't know much about the capabilities of the drones, but given their heavy effectiveness in the recent conflict, what type of air defense would be most effective?

CIWS guns?

like the US Phalanx CIWS, but the caliber is only 20mm, would it have the range and effectiveness to shoot down drones, or at least the guided munitions of the drones?

Or would you need a higher caliber AA weapon to shoot it at? 30mms? The Oerlikon Mellenium 35mm by Rheinmetall comes to mind? It's range goes into the 3-5km range




Higher caliber autocannons like 57/75mm?

Could a Specialized Anti-Drone AA gun, maybe in the 57 or 75mm Range be useful?

Missiles?

In general, would a stinger missile or any other type of typical SAM even be worth it to be fired at a drone? Cost wise? How effective would they be and how easily could they be countered? Could you have a more drones than you have missiles situation?

You'd have to make a system armed with 10+ SAMs that don't need to be designed for high-performance fighters?

Aerial interception?

Drones are generally much slower moving, can't evade fire well, and drone strikes are often against targets deeper into enemy territory, Wouldn't even 4th or heck even 3rd generation fighters with A cannon armament be able to intercept them quite easily?

Why can't you just fly up to the Drone with a F16 or older Fighter and just shoot them down?

At the moment, drones have no Air to air capability, so couldn't you send up training jets or even propeller planes to shoot them down? P-51s back in service? Lol /s

But loitering AAMs, and eventual drone fighters wille come
Jammers Lasers and AD small guns...
 

That Guy

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Drones that combat drones. It's not a coincidence that the next generation of drones will have a full air to air capability. Nor is it a coincidence that next generation of fighters are said to be optionally manned, and paired with next gen drones as companions. It's the cheapest and most effective way to do so. A lot of these drones hover way above what the human eye can see, so manpads are a no go. SAM systems are expensive, and all you'd have to do is overwhelm SAM systems with cheap disposable drones.

Of course, direct energy weapons are gonna be a thing eventually, and will be the most effective method to deal with UAVs, but that's a long way off.

Turkey's operations in Syria, Libya, and the current Azerbaijan-Armenia war are evidence that unmanned vehicles are going to dominated the coming conflicts.

On a side note, the future I see isn't even UAVs, its advanced UCGVs, which will really change the way wars are fought. Imagine an enemy is holding a strategic location, you first bomb them with UCAVs, and then send in UCGVs to secure the ground, essentially taking over the entire battle space, without putting a single soldier in harm's way.

In the future, we may very well see full on drone wars, without a single soldier or fighter pilot even in the way. An army of machines fighting for control over entire cities, without a single soldier having to set foot in the combat zone. A legion of C&C stations with trained individuals piloting the drones far away from the battlefield. We could potentially see a sharp decline in casualties in both the military and civilian numbers, but the problem would be, drones could make wars a lot cheaper.

It's only a matter of time, and we're only just in the initial step of this future.

The face of war is changing, for better or worse, who knows?
 
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That Guy

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Cheap? The TB-2 is very expensive piece of hardware.
It depends on what you mean by expensive. I'm willing to bet that long term maintenance costs are far cheaper, not to mention you don't have to worry about pilots.

As technology proliferates, the drones are gonna eventually become far cheaper than they are now. In a few years from now, as the TB-2 sees its sales rise, I can see the price for it drop by the double digit percentage points.
 

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