The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is investing in technology to help Coast Guard boats and military vehicles defend against the threat of small drones. Small unmanned aircraft grow less expensive and more readily available every year, and when weaponized, they pose an array of dangers for American ground and maritime forces, DARPA says. Islamic State has deployed this class of weapons against American and Iraqi forces, and Iran has used small fixed-wing drones to harass the U.S. Navy.
To counter the threat of remote-controlled and self-guided drones, DARPA has launched a new “Mobile Force Protection” program to develop the techology to detect, identify, track and neutralize enemy drones while minimizing collateral damage. The program seeks to develop low-cost solutions that could be fielded within three to four years. Three research groups – Dynetics, SAAB Defense and Security and SRC – are working on Phase 1 of the project.