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Published: Fri, March 17, 2017
Business | By Megan Pierce

Someone shot down a $280 drone with a $4.2m Patriot missile

Someone shot down a $280 drone with a $4.2m Patriot missile

Reports say that a "very close" ally of the US has fired a $3 million Patriot missile to take out a small quadcopter drone, which goes for around $200 on online stores.

In January, the US Air Force placed an order for net-filled shotgun shells created to shoot down unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The general pointed out that while the Patriot had successfully seen off the drone, using a high-tech missile for such a objective was actually a monumental waste of money.

"The problem is on the kinetic-exchange ratio, the Patriot won". One notable example is how a United States ally recently shot down a $200 consumer drone with a Patriot Missile. Patriot missiles cost $3.4 million to make, are the size of an SUV and can travel five times the speed of sound. The problem, he said, wasn't effectiveness: the tiny drone didn't stand a chance - the issue is economics.

Perkins questioned the economics of taking down a small drone with a weapon costing millions of dollars.

The Patriot missile is created to destroy cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, rockets or enemy planes in the air.

Some groups have reportedly started converting commercial drones into bombers to fight security forces.

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

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

"It certainly exposes in very stark terms the challenge which militaries face in attempting to deal with the adaptation of cheap and readily available civilian technology with extremely expensive, high-end hardware designed for state-on-state warfare".

Perkins said military officials had begun to look for more cost-effective countermeasures for unmanned aerial systems at different levels of command.

But Perkins acknowledged the decision to use the sophisticated surface to air missile against the drone may have been a case of overkill.

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