Thursday, April 27, 2017

Drones Versus Missiles

Earlier this year in March a Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) was used by a United States ally to shoot down a civilian drone that can be found at retailers like Amazon for under two hundred dollars. Today it is being reported by Israeli news organizations that the Israeli military engaged destroyed a drone. The Israeli military said that the missile system was engaged in destroying a target, but at this point in time has not clarified what the target was. IF it was indeed a drone it again demonstrates the cost inefficiency to shoot down drones.  for the price of a PAC-3 missile in the financial year 2015, the United States procured108 PAC-3 missiles for a cost of five hundred, sixty-two million and six hundred thousand dollars, that is excluding costs of research and development, and puts the cost of a single missile if purchased in 2015 at four million, nine hundred, thirty-one  thousand, four hundred, eighty-one dollars and some change.The price per unit rises significantly the year before in 2014 to a little over seven and a half million dollars, excluding research and development costs according to Office of Under Secretary of Defense CFO, released in a document in February of 2015 labeled Program Acquisition by Cost. SO using a PAC-3 missile to shoot down a commercial drone that can cost under 200 dollars, might be a little cost inefficient. The use of these weapons does show that there is a need for other options for ground forces to effective engage and destroy drones in a safe and cost-effective manner. Solutions already deployed in limited numbers but could see an expanded use would be systems like the Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM), which could easily target and destroy multiple drones for a fraction of the cost of a PAC-3 missile system. Needless to say, there is a need to make sure the most cost efficient means of destroying drones is being used, or at least a system that costs less than four million dollars.

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