How to counter Cruise Missiles and Suicide Drones | Page 2 | World Defense

How to counter Cruise Missiles and Suicide Drones

Falcon29

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I don't think this will affect two countries in a state of conventional warfare. This is a problem in the hand of long term proxies/non state actors. There needs to be a long term solution for the rise of proxy groups all over the region.
 

Khafee

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I don't think this will affect two countries in a state of conventional warfare. This is a problem in the hand of long term proxies/non state actors. There needs to be a long term solution for the rise of proxy groups all over the region.
The head of the snake needs to be crushed, is that what you are saying?
 

Falcon29

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The head of the snake needs to be crushed, is that what you are saying?
Absolutely, otherwise these groups will continue to spawn in the region. Besides sanctions, there is more states in the region can do to penalize this phenomena. It requires an organized and collective approach. In Iraq for example, you can punish Iraq for allowing pro-Iran proxy groups to freely buildup on Iraqi soil and use Iraq as staging ground for future attacks.
 

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U.S. Air Force unveils counter-swarm high power weapon, code-named ‘THOR’
September 29, 2019

1569777856200.png


The U.S. Air Force, and to be more accurate the Air Force Research Laboratory – scientific research organization operated by the United States Air Force Materiel Command, has disclosed details of the development of a new counter-swarm high power weapon that should cause those with nefarious intentions of using drones against United States forces at U.S. military installations at home or overseas to think twice about such actions.

“The god of thunder would be proud to hear how our team is dealing with small unmanned aircraft systems. They’re doing it, with THOR,” the AFRL tweeted.

AFRL exhibited the technology, called the Tactical High-power Operational Responder (THOR), at the 2019 Air Force Association Air, Space, and Cyber Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, located just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. and Virginia, September 16-18.

“THOR is essentially a high-powered electromagnetic source that we put together to specifically defeat drones,” said Stephen Langdon, chief of the High-Powered Microwave Technologies Branch of AFRL’s Directed Energy Directorate.

A demonstration system has been built and tested on military test ranges near Kirtland AFB where it has successfully engaged multiple targets. Further testing against a larger set of drone types in swarming configurations is being planned.

THOR stores completely in a 20-foot transport container, which can easily be transported in a C-130 aircraft. The system can be set up within three hours and has a user interface designed to require very little user training. The technology, which cost roughly $15 million to develop, uses high power electromagnetics to counter electronic effect. When a target is identified, the silent weapon discharges with nearly instantaneous impact.

Rather than being used just as harmless hobby systems, drones can also be employed as weapons intended to cause harm at long standoff ranges. As they become more common and technically mature, it is important that there be a safe way to protect air bases against these threats.

With much of the necessary basic research previously completed at AFRL, THOR was rapidly developed and tested in 18 months.

Although there are other drone defensive systems available, including guns, nets and laser systems, THOR looks to extend the engagement range to effect and decrease the engagement time over these other deterrent devices.

Langdon said the THOR team hopes to transfer the technology to a System Program Office soon in order to get it into the hands of U.S. warfighters as soon as possible.
 

Signalian

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Mobile radars and good old AAA - 12.7 mm, 14.5 mm, 20 mm, 35 mm, 40 mm - with support from tube launched short range missiles.

Mobile radars because we have seen how F-117 was shot down, so stealth shouldn't be a un-solvable issue.
AAA because CIWS of some sort are required, deployed at different locations for low flying threats.
 

TsAr

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Yes it does, than install it 5 km. away and 2 km above the refinery etc. and encircle the facility.
Those helium balloons with some electronics might be good idea.
Facility may not have GSM connection but than there will be compromises.

@Khafee probably knows, once in 80's great general Zial ul Haque. swarmed the aispace around the Kahuta research labs with balloons, on tip from Saudi Arabia about Israeli F-16 flying south-east. but those were simple balloons without ECM. Still that manged to sabotage the Israeli air raid.
Oh yes I can testify to the balloons part....
 

TsAr

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Shorad's are the best defense against cruise missiles. At the moment no one has a 💯 foolproof system against a swarm attack. The best thing as I have discussed with @Khafee is to stop such attacks in the planning phase, using HUMINT and satellites to determine possible deployment and movements and destroying these systems before they are launched against you.
 

Fenrir

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Sorry for the late response, again I'm pretty short on time these days with my new job, but here's my take. Unlike a lot of members I disagree that a shorad system is the way to go. Missiles and cannon shells are fairly expensive and prone to a gambit of offensive countermeasures like radar jamming, IR decoys, script injection via electronic warfare, optical interference for electro-optical systems like are found on the NASAMS system and a host of other offensive countermeasures.



Defensive countermeasures make detection a major pain for a defensive force and include terrain masking, small munitions, erratic flight profiles and stealthy features, as are found on most small UAVs or loitering munitions, which fly low, slow and are very small making detection by IR or radar very difficult.



Response time is extremely short and engagement time leaves missiles often struggling to engage and guns unable to traverse quickly enough to engage.

What we recommend and what the industry is focusing on as a counter to small UAVs is wide-area or targeted electronic warfare - radio jamming specifically given most small UAVs are radio linked via satellite or ground control - or script injections targeted at launchers and targeting systems to create false targeting data or trigger malfunctions in the launching system.

Wide area jamming isn't the best option since it sets a no-go zone for both hostile and friendly assets, but it prevents a system from operating within a given area and can create extended safe zones. Forces operating in Iraq, especially the US military have been trialing such systems to prevent militants in Iraq and Syria from operating commercial hobby UAVs. It effects both sides for they're hardly without their faults, but they are effective. Wide-area systems are often found at airports to prevent hobby AUVs from interfering with commercial traffic and are generally not powerful enough to complicate air traffic and control or commercial flights.



Targeted systems often use powerful microwave systems or AESA radars to target specific systems for jamming using directional beams. Low power microwave emissions are similar to localized EMPs and can short-out or destroy electronics. High power microwaves can cause physical damage much like a laser. AESA radars can target specific frequencies much like a radio jammer and cause electric interference with a UAV's targeting or guidance systems or severe local connections to ground or orbital control systems. Such systems have been used by the US Navy with good effect against Iranian UAV's in the Persian Gulf.



Script injections, as Israel has used to devastating effect against Syria, blind enemy radars by creating false signals, propagating phantom targets or outright turning off the system when it's needed most but require a strong background in offensive electronic warfare (hacking) and a knowledge of the control systems used by an adversary. If such metrics are known it's brutally effective, but generally only once since if an enemy knows it's been hacked, will likely take steps to shore up their defences or change their control systems and protocols. But as have been seen with Israeli operations in Syria, past and present, it's ruthlessly effective and leaves air-defences completely useless. The Suter program was one such program and was likely, in some form or basis, used by Israel during the 2007 Operation Orchard. The US has used the program in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Norway maintains cyber-warfare section with 5000 personnel specifically to design and implement offensive and defense countermeasures, including programs like Suter to target hostile missile and control systems.



Directed energy systems like lasers or microwave systems are also extremely effective, but have high power requirements. Lasers physically destroy UAVs but take time to engage and can't be used rapidly. Contrary to popular belief they do function in inclement weather including dust, snow or fog and mirrored or reflective coatings on a system does nothing to prevent a laser from working as their imperfections actually increase heat transfer. Microwave systems can be used to outright destroy a target via heat induction, same as a laser, or to damage electronics rendering the system inoperable the same way a CPU automatically shuts down when it gets too hot as a prevention or how they may simply burn out when overheated due to the heat sensitivity of modern high performance electronics.



The best systems combine gun, missile and electronic warfare or directed energy weapons into a single platform.



QRSAM systems are still king against cruise missiles given their redundant guidance methods and can, if used by a competent crew, quickly engage missiles rapidly and effectively. PAC-3 is a beast against such targets. NASAMS AMRAAM-ER is designed to quickly engage cruise missiles at ranges exceeding 50nm and can launch 72 missiles per battery in less then 10 seconds.



Overall electronic warfare and directed energy weapons are the way forwards and are where the emphasis of the defence industry is focused. Guns are ubiquitous and missiles effective out to longer ranges, but they are increasingly looking like backup systems, not the primary.

My two Krone.
 
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Khafee

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The 1 Thing About the Saudi Oil Attacks That Should Terrify You
October 1, 2019
The nature of warfare is changing fast. Can America keep up?
by Eliot Pence

1569962126700.png


Key point: The attacks against Saudi Arabia with newer technologies such as drones and missiles, raises the question of how humans should still control their weapons of war.

The Abqaiq attacks this month raised many questions. Who did it? How did they do it? What did they do it with? One question was notably absent: Why couldn't Saudi Arabia stop it? The answer is not straightforward, nor is it necessarily clear that anything could have stopped it. After all, the Kingdom spends as much as any country on defense.

The uncomfortable reality is that no one knows how to deal with this threat. It is not just the Saudis. American military bases in the Middle East were likely equally exposed. Inexpensive, asymmetric, ubiquitous threats traveling at high speeds is a hard problem. They resemble something similar to an emergent property, in which simple entities (drones and cruise missiles, for example) operate in an ecosystem, forming more complex behaviors as a collective. Stopping one drone may have not been a challenge. Stopping 17 drones and eight cruise missiles launched together confusing radars, communications infrastructure, and human operators all at once are. Whether we like it or not, when it comes to this new era of defense, humans can be just as much the problem as they are the solution.

Five years ago, the Department of Defense started seriously contemplating how two major developments - a raft of new technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and autonomy, and increasingly commoditized (and therefore cheaper) sensors and hardware - posed serious risks to its existing legacy defense systems. The Pentagon released a report calling for the transformation of the defense industry, concerned that its legacy systems were no match for a rapidly approaching new era. But mainstreaming new tech into the "SOPs and TTCs" of various branches of the military ran aground. Legacy companies, late to the game and unable to attract the talent necessary to compete in the new industries, piled on and pushed for incremental change to existing technologies to defend their core business interests. A core argument of the anti-changers: humans were needed "in the loop." HITL, as "humans in the loop" became known, conveniently reflected the operating systems of their own products.

The problem was – and remains – that any system reliant on a human operator paired with bespoke, non-interoperable controls is at risk. The adversary is always looking for where humans are managing assets, because they know there are likely fault lines nearby. In this context, humans – their faults and frailties – are accentuated. We cannot think, act, reason quickly enough for a world in which dozens of cheap, smart objects fly at hypersonic speeds at multiple targets.

The question isn't, "Do we want humans in the loop?" Of-course we do. The question is where. New defense technologies, especially those that offer defensive measures against fast moving swarms of flying vessels, need to minimize human's decision load such that they are no longer identifying and classifying targets but can instead offload those tasks to computational mechanisms that are capable of processing that faster and more accurately. Humans then only have the burden of deciding how to engage, with computer assistance telling them the most useful countermeasure. The reality is that in most air defense systems, humans are everywhere in the loop. They are in front of screens, behind radars, tipping, queuing, identifying, classifying, coordinating.

The solution to this threat is not radars that see further, or bigger and faster interceptor missiles or even more HITL. The solution is structural: inexpensive, infinitely scalable sensor systems that fuse data feeds offering as an accurate, non-hackable picture of reality as possible. Daisy-chained radars interlinked by a mesh network track the paths of each enemy drone autonomously handing off to the next. Humans maintain control of the intent; not the process.

These advances in technology and their gradual commoditization do not represent linear, incremental changes to global security. They represent a paradigm shift in thinking about defense and warfare. As the Saudi attacks so clearly demonstrate, their combination makes defense exponentially more challenging to human operators. Before the next attack, we need to realize that being everywhere in the loop is the same as being out of it.
 
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The 1 Thing About the Saudi Oil Attacks That Should Terrify You
October 1, 2019
The nature of warfare is changing fast. Can America keep up?
by Eliot Pence

View attachment 10360

Key point: The attacks against Saudi Arabia with newer technologies such as drones and missiles, raises the question of how humans should still control their weapons of war.

The Abqaiq attacks this month raised many questions. Who did it? How did they do it? What did they do it with? One question was notably absent: Why couldn't Saudi Arabia stop it? The answer is not straightforward, nor is it necessarily clear that anything could have stopped it. After all, the Kingdom spends as much as any country on defense.

The uncomfortable reality is that no one knows how to deal with this threat. It is not just the Saudis. American military bases in the Middle East were likely equally exposed. Inexpensive, asymmetric, ubiquitous threats traveling at high speeds is a hard problem. They resemble something similar to an emergent property, in which simple entities (drones and cruise missiles, for example) operate in an ecosystem, forming more complex behaviors as a collective. Stopping one drone may have not been a challenge. Stopping 17 drones and eight cruise missiles launched together confusing radars, communications infrastructure, and human operators all at once are. Whether we like it or not, when it comes to this new era of defense, humans can be just as much the problem as they are the solution.

Five years ago, the Department of Defense started seriously contemplating how two major developments - a raft of new technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and autonomy, and increasingly commoditized (and therefore cheaper) sensors and hardware - posed serious risks to its existing legacy defense systems. The Pentagon released a report calling for the transformation of the defense industry, concerned that its legacy systems were no match for a rapidly approaching new era. But mainstreaming new tech into the "SOPs and TTCs" of various branches of the military ran aground. Legacy companies, late to the game and unable to attract the talent necessary to compete in the new industries, piled on and pushed for incremental change to existing technologies to defend their core business interests. A core argument of the anti-changers: humans were needed "in the loop." HITL, as "humans in the loop" became known, conveniently reflected the operating systems of their own products.

The problem was – and remains – that any system reliant on a human operator paired with bespoke, non-interoperable controls is at risk. The adversary is always looking for where humans are managing assets, because they know there are likely fault lines nearby. In this context, humans – their faults and frailties – are accentuated. We cannot think, act, reason quickly enough for a world in which dozens of cheap, smart objects fly at hypersonic speeds at multiple targets.

The question isn't, "Do we want humans in the loop?" Of-course we do. The question is where. New defense technologies, especially those that offer defensive measures against fast moving swarms of flying vessels, need to minimize human's decision load such that they are no longer identifying and classifying targets but can instead offload those tasks to computational mechanisms that are capable of processing that faster and more accurately. Humans then only have the burden of deciding how to engage, with computer assistance telling them the most useful countermeasure. The reality is that in most air defense systems, humans are everywhere in the loop. They are in front of screens, behind radars, tipping, queuing, identifying, classifying, coordinating.

The solution to this threat is not radars that see further, or bigger and faster interceptor missiles or even more HITL. The solution is structural: inexpensive, infinitely scalable sensor systems that fuse data feeds offering as an accurate, non-hackable picture of reality as possible. Daisy-chained radars interlinked by a mesh network track the paths of each enemy drone autonomously handing off to the next. Humans maintain control of the intent; not the process.

These advances in technology and their gradual commoditization do not represent linear, incremental changes to global security. They represent a paradigm shift in thinking about defense and warfare. As the Saudi attacks so clearly demonstrate, their combination makes defense exponentially more challenging to human operators. Before the next attack, we need to realize that being everywhere in the loop is the same as being out of it.
There's thousands of years of study, experiments and refinements on using infantry and cavalry to wage wars. About a hundred years for air warfare. Tech such as cyberattacks and drones don't receive enough attention and eventual preventative tool-building until events such as Stuxnet and Abqaiq.

Drone swarm attacks are absolutely here to stay. They will get increasingly sophisticated and coordinated.

They paradigm shift is because drones have suddenly ballooned the attack surface to guard against. Air intrusions have radars to detect against, even stealth tech is well understood. But how do you contend with essentially cheap guided missiles that simply overwhelm your traditional defenses and are virtually undetectable until within visual range.

Sure, you can deploy a sensor mesh. But enough to cover your borders completely? Security is only as strong as the weakest link. Destroy a few sensors and you have an opening. Once you're past the mesh, you're undetectable again.
 

Khafee

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Diverse, layered missile defense is key to killing drone swarms
02 Oct 2019
By: Steven P. Bucci  

1570042938500.png

Workers and engineers are silhouetted as they fix the damage in Aramco's oil separator at a processing facility six days after the Sept. 14, 2019, attack in Abqaiq, near Dammam in Saudi Arabia. (Amr Nabil/AP)

On Sept. 14, 2019, the Aramco oil facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia were attacked by drones and possibly cruise missiles. While the rebel Houthi movement in Yemen claimed responsibility, few believed this canard. American, British, French, German and Saudi intelligence officials all point to Iran as the culprit. This is just the latest of Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region.

The oil field attack was significant, as it cut Saudi oil production in half — a significant hit to the world’s production. Tensions in the region have been higher than usual in the face of the ongoing conflict in Yemen, the American diplomatic and trade pressure on Iran, Iran’s hostile actions against shipping (mining two vessels and highjacking others), and most recently “offering” at a U.N. General Assembly meeting to take over regional security responsibilities to get the West to leave the region.

Beyond all that, the West needs to learn some lessons from the attack. Missile defense critics quickly deemed Saudi Arabia’s use of the American-made MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system as insufficient protection for this attack. Perhaps it was, but we don’t yet know enough to make that call. Western leaders should not jump to premature conclusions of which weapons and technology were even used or if any of the current defense systems “failed.” This helps no one, is opportunistic and could lead to dangerous decisions going forward.

These “trigger happy” naysayers are declaring that in light of the reliability of the Patriot program and other American products, they should be dumped and the Russian S-400 system adopted instead. This is just nonsense. The Patriot is primarily designed to stop high-flying jet aircraft and large ballistic missiles, while drones and short-range cruise missiles fly too low to be effectively detected by the Patriot radar.

But news alert: The S-400 is also not built for hitting low-flying targets. This rank speculation from missile defense critics and further propagated by media that don’t understand the complexities of missile defense only emboldens adversaries that are working against the interests of the U.S. and our allies.

In the coming weeks, intelligence agencies are slated to release their findings about the attack, and only at that point should we be considering what needs to be done differently to prevent another attack. The likelihood that the conclusion is to “buy Russian” is, and very well should be, low.

The reality is more likely this: Effective missile defense systems are not based on one weapon capable of stopping everything. Only diverse, layered and integrated air and missile defense systems in combination can combat all types of incoming attacks. Without an interconnected, layered system that can work together and be successfully operated by highly trained personnel, there will be gaps in the coverage — regardless of where or who it’s made by. As mentioned, the Patriot was built to protect against high-flying targets, and without integration with other weapons like counter-unmanned aircraft systems that are rapidly evolving, targets like Aramco are not fully protected.

It’s not only difficult to believe that a proven system like Patriot that’s deployed in 17 countries and has been used successfully in hundreds of combat engagements simply failed, it is also highly unlikely. We also don’t yet know other specifics such as employment techniques and crew-training levels around the oil facilities. All these factors are very likely to add to the complexity of the investigation.

It bears repeating that any one missile defense weapon system alone is not designed to protect against all possible air attacks. Never has that been truer than today, given the growing threat of drone technology — and drones were the key in this attack. We must continue to develop technologies that will detect these types of small, unmanned aircraft and find ways to more effectively protect our assets from these asymmetrical assaults.

The bottom line is that a full investigation into the Aramco attack is necessary to diagnose the problem, and only when that is completed should “corrective” prescriptions be considered. We cannot allow this incident to shift focus on the still-significant and larger missile defense threats we still face.

Additionally, we need interoperability of missile defense systems between allies. This is a time for more concerted efforts to achieve the sort of layered defenses that are truly needed, not for the adoption of outliers such as the Russian systems.

Steven Bucci, former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense, is a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation think tank.
 
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Diverse, layered missile defense is key to killing drone swarms
02 Oct 2019
By: Steven P. Bucci  

View attachment 10444
Workers and engineers are silhouetted as they fix the damage in Aramco's oil separator at a processing facility six days after the Sept. 14, 2019, attack in Abqaiq, near Dammam in Saudi Arabia. (Amr Nabil/AP)

On Sept. 14, 2019, the Aramco oil facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia were attacked by drones and possibly cruise missiles. While the rebel Houthi movement in Yemen claimed responsibility, few believed this canard. American, British, French, German and Saudi intelligence officials all point to Iran as the culprit. This is just the latest of Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region.

The oil field attack was significant, as it cut Saudi oil production in half — a significant hit to the world’s production. Tensions in the region have been higher than usual in the face of the ongoing conflict in Yemen, the American diplomatic and trade pressure on Iran, Iran’s hostile actions against shipping (mining two vessels and highjacking others), and most recently “offering” at a U.N. General Assembly meeting to take over regional security responsibilities to get the West to leave the region.

Beyond all that, the West needs to learn some lessons from the attack. Missile defense critics quickly deemed Saudi Arabia’s use of the American-made MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system as insufficient protection for this attack. Perhaps it was, but we don’t yet know enough to make that call. Western leaders should not jump to premature conclusions of which weapons and technology were even used or if any of the current defense systems “failed.” This helps no one, is opportunistic and could lead to dangerous decisions going forward.

These “trigger happy” naysayers are declaring that in light of the reliability of the Patriot program and other American products, they should be dumped and the Russian S-400 system adopted instead. This is just nonsense. The Patriot is primarily designed to stop high-flying jet aircraft and large ballistic missiles, while drones and short-range cruise missiles fly too low to be effectively detected by the Patriot radar.

But news alert: The S-400 is also not built for hitting low-flying targets. This rank speculation from missile defense critics and further propagated by media that don’t understand the complexities of missile defense only emboldens adversaries that are working against the interests of the U.S. and our allies.

In the coming weeks, intelligence agencies are slated to release their findings about the attack, and only at that point should we be considering what needs to be done differently to prevent another attack. The likelihood that the conclusion is to “buy Russian” is, and very well should be, low.

The reality is more likely this: Effective missile defense systems are not based on one weapon capable of stopping everything. Only diverse, layered and integrated air and missile defense systems in combination can combat all types of incoming attacks. Without an interconnected, layered system that can work together and be successfully operated by highly trained personnel, there will be gaps in the coverage — regardless of where or who it’s made by. As mentioned, the Patriot was built to protect against high-flying targets, and without integration with other weapons like counter-unmanned aircraft systems that are rapidly evolving, targets like Aramco are not fully protected.

It’s not only difficult to believe that a proven system like Patriot that’s deployed in 17 countries and has been used successfully in hundreds of combat engagements simply failed, it is also highly unlikely. We also don’t yet know other specifics such as employment techniques and crew-training levels around the oil facilities. All these factors are very likely to add to the complexity of the investigation.

It bears repeating that any one missile defense weapon system alone is not designed to protect against all possible air attacks. Never has that been truer than today, given the growing threat of drone technology — and drones were the key in this attack. We must continue to develop technologies that will detect these types of small, unmanned aircraft and find ways to more effectively protect our assets from these asymmetrical assaults.

The bottom line is that a full investigation into the Aramco attack is necessary to diagnose the problem, and only when that is completed should “corrective” prescriptions be considered. We cannot allow this incident to shift focus on the still-significant and larger missile defense threats we still face.

Additionally, we need interoperability of missile defense systems between allies. This is a time for more concerted efforts to achieve the sort of layered defenses that are truly needed, not for the adoption of outliers such as the Russian systems.

Steven Bucci, former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense, is a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation think tank.
I was under the impression the S-400 is capable of handling short-range / low flying attacks too.

If not, can we effectively counter India's S-400 systems with our drone swarms?
 

Khafee

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I was under the impression the S-400 is capable of handling short-range / low flying attacks too.

If not, can we effectively counter India's S-400 systems with our drone swarms?
S400 is always paired with Pantsir for Short range / low level attacks.
 

TsAr

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We have still to find ways to counter these drones and cruise missiles and now china has launched hypersonic drones...... Best defense is go on offense.... If you have the capability to inflict maximum damage on your enemy they would not dare attack you.
If Pakistan did not possess nuclear weapons, India would have attacked us a long time before....
 

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