The U.S. Army has released footage showing soldiers disable a drone using an anti-drone weapon during training.
The one-minute video uploaded Oct. 28 to YouTube show soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, capture an enemy drone using a product called Batelle’s DroneDefender during an Oct. 23 exercise at Fort Bliss, New Mexico.
The footage, which was shot by Sgt. Steven Hitchcock, comes a week after Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said airmen used an anti-drone weapon to take out a drone operated by militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.
“The Air Force over there in theater was informed there was one such unmanned aerial system in the vicinity and fairly quickly we were able to bring it down, we brought it down through electronic measures,” James said at an event hosted by the Center for a New American Security in Washington, D.C.
“A top priority for me at the moment is this emerging danger that we’re seeing in the Middle East in respect to unmanned aerial systems — these cheap, buy-them-over-the-internet, small drones and if explosives are placed on them, as we’ve seen a handful of times now in Syria and Iraq, they can do damage,” James added.
ISIS has been rigging small, off-the shelf drones and model airplanes as time bombs in an effort to blunt the imminent offensive to retake its Iraqi stronghold in the northwestern city of Mosul, a U.S. official said Wednesday.
The official confirmed an incident earlier this month, first reported by The New York Times, in which two Kurdish Peshmerga fighters were killed while trying to dismantle a model airplane that was shot down in northern Iraq.
Earlier this month, the commander of U.S. Army Europe said he wants anti-drone weapons to counter potential threats from Russia, among other equipment. Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges said he would welcome any number of systems to do the job, from newer non-kinetic technologies to older, Cold War-era equipment.
While he didn’t specify the name of any new anti-drone weapon products, Army officials have tested Battelle’s DroneDefender, a shoulder-fired weapon that disables drones with radio waves and when paired with an Israeli-made radar can detect unmanned aerial vehicles from several kilometers away.
-Oriana Pawlyk and Richard Sisk contributed to this report.