DARPA'S Mobile Force Protection Program to Protect Convoys with Drones

Rendering of DARPA's Mobile Force Protection program

The US military's research agency has announce weapons systems that could defend land vehicles or ships from attacks by drones.

The Islamic State (IS) have created off-the-shelf drone to attack U-backed Iraqi troops pushing towards Mosul. Even though there are no reports of a drone attack, the US Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) wants to be ahead of the game.

The drone defense system needs to serve the military and civilians in their homeland or abroad.

The project (DARPA-PS-17-01) seeks to develop a system that can defeat an attack by a multitude of “self-guided, small unmanned aerial systems (UAS)” on a moving target such as a convoy of vehicles of patrol boats. Specifically, the system needs to be able to deal with fixed-wing or rotor drones that weigh less than 200 pounds (90 kilos) apiece.

DARPA explained they are not considering using lasers or high-caliber guns, since it could be too heavy or too power-demanding to fit onto a Humvee or a Coast Guard boat.

If phase one of the project results in viable technology, DARPA is willing to fund the next phases of research that would culminate in a prototype demonstration, the agency said.

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