Is Anti-Drone Gun Taking Out ISIS Quadcopters in Mosul?

An image appears to show Battelle's DroneDefender at a U.S. military base in Iraq. (Photo via Twitter)An image appears to show Battelle's DroneDefender at a U.S. military base in Iraq. (Photo via Twitter)

The U.S. military is reportedly shooting down more drones operated by the Islamic State.

My question is: What exactly are they using to do so?

As my colleague Richard Sisk reported at Military.com, Army Col. Brett Sylvia, commander of Task Force Strike in Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, on Wednesday said U.S. and Iraqi forces have taken out 12 or so small, explosive-laden drones, mostly quadcopters, operated by ISIS during the offensive to retake Mosul, Iraq.

Sisk reported Iraqi Security Forces are using rifles and other small arms for the job, but the Americans’ weapon of choice is less clear.

Here’s how he put it: “The U.S. is using technical means Sylvia declined to describe to bring down the drones, while the Iraqis are relying on direct fire with small arms. Sylvia said about a dozen of the ISIS drones have been brought down or shot down recently, but the munitions they’ve managed to drop have caused casualties in the ISF.”

My guess is the “technical means” is the Battelle’s DroneDefender, a shoulder-fired weapon that zaps drones with radio waves and, as noted in the picture above, has already been spotted at a U.S. military base in the country.

As another colleague, Matthew Cox, has reported, DroneDefender has a range of “several hundred meters” but, when paired with an Israeli radar, the device can detect drones from “several kilometers” away.

The weapon, which isn’t authorized by the Federal Communications Commission and thus isn’t available for sale in the U.S., uses radio waves to cut the link between the drone and its controller.

Cox reported the U.S. Army in 2015 experimented with DroneDefender and other anti-drone weapons at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona — and concluded the product performed the best.

What do you think? What other anti-drone products might be in use by U.S. forces in Iraq?

About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of Military.com. He can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.