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  1. The US Army, prompted by increased proliferation and combat use, notably China's Predator counterpart CH-4 and an Israeli Harop kamikaze drone which wiped out a busload of Armenian volunteers during the Nagorno-Karabakh affray, as well as ISIS et al for propaganda and maybe even troop control, has been going hammer and tongs on a solution. Using a 10 KW (bottom end of High Energy Laser definition), it has been wholesale killing drones as small as the small quadcopters so common here in the US. The platform is a HEMTT reconfigured to be a HELMTT, with the laser being positioned high enough to fire down on terrain hugging drones. Thus, it has more than hemispheric coverage. HELMTT is part of a larger Army effort to counter not just drones, but artillery shells and rockets under an effort called IFPC (Indirect Fire Protection Capability), which has, as one of its interceptor components, the same Tamir missile credited with over 1000 rocket kills as part of Iron Dome. There is a short vid of the Tamir firing from an IFPC truck, but what is of particular interest is that the article says the truck is armed with three different weapons: AIM-9X (latest Sidewinder), Tamir and Hellfire), with the objective being to have the right weapons on the launch platform for the particular threat and engagement conditions. From odds and ends gleaned here and there, it appears the Army's lower echelon air defenses will follow the same model, part of which may well include the same twin-barrel 50 mm cannon described as part of the anti-drone effort. I would expect a fully integrated airspace defense system capable of dealing with manned aircraft, missiles, drones, rockets and artillery shells. This looks reasonably doable and deployable within the CMBS timeframe. The article's here. Regards, John Kettler
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