1
$\begingroup$

What is the feasibility of using drones that can fly at 360kmh as anti aircraft? Linked under is a similar thread. However, with the prevalence of more advanced drones such as linked below wouldn't a majority of the problems like cost and the need for large amounts be solved. Additionally, the radar footprint could be minimized and be made almost impossible to detect. I am interested in researching drones and possibly creating a paper, so please let me know if there are any other related topics.

Why aren't swarms of cheap consumer-level drones a viable anti-aircraft tactic?

$\endgroup$
5
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What is specific about a drone, that cannot be done with a current anti-air missile? $\endgroup$
    – WPNSGuy
    Commented Mar 10 at 3:45
  • $\begingroup$ Current anti-air missiles are extremely expensive and I was wondering how feasible these types of drones would be because 10-20~ could be manufactured for the price of one missile and could be deployed without requiring the same level of training. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10 at 3:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is this "drone" manually controlled? If so, it will miss the oncoming aircraft. If not manually controlled, it is simply a slower version of the current anti-air munitions. $\endgroup$
    – WPNSGuy
    Commented Mar 10 at 4:19
  • $\begingroup$ Keep in mind, the drone in the video is only that fast because it has no excess weight. Not just no warhead, but no guidance, no IR or radar, and a bare minimum of communications and batteries - probably good for a few miles' range at most, rather than the 100+ miles needed for a practical anti-air weapon. $\endgroup$
    – Cadence
    Commented Mar 10 at 14:21
  • $\begingroup$ People have been flying 800 - 900km/h RC planes for decades. 300 is nothing special. Back in the early 2000s (I can't believe it's been 20 years!) someone in New Zealand proved that anyone can build a cheap/affordable cruise missile by building a model airplane and strapping on a pulsejet engine to it (see nzherald.co.nz/nz/boffin-builds-backyard-missile/… also aardvark.co.nz/pjet/cruise.shtml). That thing had a speed of around 500km/h $\endgroup$
    – slebetman
    Commented Mar 11 at 4:13

3 Answers 3

2
$\begingroup$

360 km/h is 200 knots, which is above the V1 for airliners. That makes it more feasible to chase an airliner on takeoff to try and get sucked into its engine, than to just hope it runs into a slow drone. However, this speed is only special for a quadcopter, fixed-wing drones could do this for decades.

It's possible that a major proliferation of drones could lead to major urban airports eventually adopting the same drone-jammers as used by military airfields. But it will probably have more to do with preventing accidents from amateur photographers than with anti-terrorism.

Reducing the RCS of a drone is not as easy as it looks. It might be small, but a single metal screw has sufficient RCS to be spotted by radar at close range, and drones also have motors and antennas. Since they are only effective during takeoff, they'll be at very close range to the airport's radar. A stealth drone will need advanced materials, shaping, and LPI electronics, making it cost as much as a missile.

In a military scenario, a more effective tactic is to load small drones with explosives and try to fly them into anything flammable. They are not effective against fast-moving targets, but aircraft on the ground make for easy targets. Drones "bird-striking" an engine is a concern in civil settings because explosives are hard to get for a civilian.

$\endgroup$
0
1
$\begingroup$

360 km/h is far too slow to intercept an attack plane.

A cheap slow drone might be effective against a slow-flying low altitude aircraft. Even a drunk person with a rock can disable an aircraft.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

Anti aircraft payloads are 100s kg, because they need to fly long distances and considerable speed. You’re not going to shoot down a military aircraft with your 200knot drone but it could knock out a helicopter with a proficient pilot. Manually controlling the drone is a whole different issue, with no guidance it would be very difficult. The payload wouldn’t be huge and then there’s also the question of what kind of trigger/detonator you use.

Remote weapons like the RB-05a are mostly useful, but usually for stationary ground targets.

$\endgroup$

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .