Photographs revealed a new anti-drone weapon on board of the USS Kearsage, the Drive reported.
According to the outlet, “the threat of small commercially available drones looms large over the U.S. military. After years of dragging its feet, the Battle of Mosul finally awoke the Pentagon as to just how complex and vexing the threat from these systems is.”
In light of this, there are new anti-drone defense weapons coming to the modern battlefield to counter the unmanned flying nuisance.
One of these weapons is the Light Marine Air Defense Integrated System (LMADIS), a highly mobile anti-drone solution that rides on a pair of Polaris MRZR buggies, and now the Corps is getting creative about how they put this capability to use.
The MRZR anti-drone system is reportedly deployed with the Marine Corps on the deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsage, as photographs of its passage through the Suez Canal revealed.
The Drive expressed the surprise of a sea fortress such as the USS Kearsage needing protection from drones that may be bought from a retail store:
“Yes, it’s somewhat bewildering to think that a vessel like Kearsarge, which has four layers of air defense all by itself, ranging out hundreds of miles with its AIM-120 equipped AV-8B+ Harriers, to dozens of miles with its Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles, to up-close in personal with its Rolling Airframe Missiles and Phalanx close-in weapons system needs a little buggy chained to its deck to detect, classify, and fend-off weaponized drones that can be bought at retail electronics shops.”
However, according to the outlet this is due to the unique position of the Suez Canal, which makes the large warship vulnerable to close quarters attacks. After all, the passage sits alongside a known hotbed for militant activities.
LMADIS consists of the RADA RPS-42 hemispheric air surveillance AESA radar system mounted on a MRZR buggy. The short-range S-band radar is highly sensitive and can spot a wide range of targets, including traditional helicopters and aircraft, as well as small radar signatures like ultralight aircraft and small drones.
On top of the radar system is a gyro-stabilized CM202 multi-sensor optical ball. This is used to positively identify aerial targets day or night so that a far better-informed decision can be made as to whether or not a suspicious target is indeed a threat.
If the target is deemed unfriendly, a Modi jammer can be turned on to target and break the data-link between the drone and its controller on the ground.
The Drive also reported that the new anti-drone weapon is still in development and the military is looking to upgrade it:
“Beyond adding solid-state laser capability, which is already being pursued on multiple fronts, LMADIS is set to become a piece in a larger counter-UAS and low-flying air defense capability in the form of the Marine Corps’ Ground-Based Air Defense (GBAD) program. This will integrate LMADIS systems onto the Oshkosh MATV Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) as well as Coyote anti-drone drones, and a M230LF 30mm cannon, into one package.”