During Thursday’s Modern Day Marine expo in Quantico, Virginia, Master Sgt. Justin Olson, Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command operator, said during his presentation that the Corps is looking for technology that can neutralize UAVs sent to spy on or kill US troops.
The new technology must be capable of tracking and detecting small UAVs and be able to discern what, if any, threat they pose. Once a threat level has been established there will need to be options for reducing or terminating the offending aircraft.
Military Times quoted Olson as saying, "Our focus right now is not so much counter-UAS on a larger scale, but counter-small systems," and, "Your micro, small handheld stuff, what will the enemy use."
Staff Sgt. Nic Gagnon, MARSOC development team member, told Military.com that the Marines are "looking to counter anything you can buy off the shelf."
Is is not clear how MARSOC intends to use anti-drone technology, as it is still fairly new. The US Defense Department recently bought 100 "DroneDefenders," frequency jammers mounted on a frame similar to an assault rifle that can affect UAVs at a range of up to 400 meters. The devices, manufactured by Columbus, Ohio-based company Bastelle, could be useful in this effort.
Marine Corps commandant General Robert Neller told an audience at the convention that, by 2017, he wants every Marine infantry combat group to be able to deploy a UAV for surveillance and reconnaissance, to combat a new generation of sophisticated threats.
Neller revealed the Marine Corps Operating Concept, which states, in part, "As machines advance from performing repetitive tasks to dynamic workloads, it will free people to focus on the things they do uniquely or best…The challenge, as machines become more capable and autonomous, is how to put people and things together in the most effective pairings for the mission at hand," according to Defense Tech.