The alarm sounds!
You jump out of your hammock, throw on your combat fatigues and head out of the fortified bunker, with suitcase in tow.
Not a rifle, mind you, a suitcase — containing a very special weapon.
The massage: “Incoming drone swarm, take positions.”
You crack open the case, and assemble the CERBAIR Chimera — it comes with a backpack and vest with a detection module, a command and control tablet and an electromagnetic effector gun.
According to the French manufacturer, drone detection is processed by omnidirectional analysis of radio frequency spectrum.
Once the alert has been given (both visual and audio), the azimuthal location of the rogue drone and its pilot are tracked using a directional antenna.
Because the kit tracks a rogue drone’s location, the electromagnetic gun can be used beyond line of sight.
You are now ready, to zap any and all incoming drones — almost like a video game!
CERBAIR’s “Swiss Army Knife” of drone defense — the business end of which is a cool “Han Solo,” hip-fired electromagnetic rifle — is emblematic of a growing urgency to develop security tools for guarding against rogue drone attacks, according to a report from ZDNet.
The prevalence and growing sophistication of drones, to put it mildly, has created a serious obstacle for law enforcement.
Commercially available drones can be used to threaten government officials and carry out attacks during public gatherings and events, the report said.
International airports have even had to shut down entirely, merely because a drone was seen in the perimeter, causing havoc for airlines.
A joint multi-agency threat assessment issued prior to then-incoming President Biden’s inauguration listed drones as a potential threat, the report said.
Meanwhile, violent non-state actors have already been known to use drones in combat.
Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told a Senate Armed Services Committee that the terrorist group has begun using “unmanned aerial vehicles,” a.k.a. drones, for both surveillance and attacks, NBC News reported.
“In the past year, ISIS’s use of unmanned aerial systems (drones) for surveillance and delivery of explosives has increased, posing a new threat to civilian infrastructure and military installations,” Stewart testified.
Although the group has used drones on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria, Stewart’s comments came during a discussion of the worldwide threat posed by ISIS and how it may expand.
Stewart did not disclose any technical details, but another US intelligence official said the group has been using off-the-shelf products and even hobbyist aircraft configured with cameras and makeshift bombs.
The official described the ISIS drones as “Frankenstein concoctions” tasked with “surveillance, dropping ordnance and interfering with adversary’s aerial assets,” like helicopters.
“Although these drones are about the size of a watermelon and may have a range of only a few miles, they still pose a risk,” writes Thomas Braun in his paper Miniature Menace in the journal Wild Blue Yonder, ZDNet reported.
“In the hands of a [violent non-state actor], these small, inexpensive consumer drones are modified into ‘killer bees’ capable of creating significant damage and terrorizing civilian and military populations.”
Cartel groups in Central and South America have deployed drone technology to smuggle drugs and weapons across borders, and, even to assassinate rivals.
According to The Drive, a civilian self-defense militia in the city of Tepalcatepec, in Mexico’s southwestern Michoacan state, reportedly recovered two dozen explosive-laden quadcopters from a car that a team of sicarios – cartel hitmen, possibly Jalisco – had apparently abandoned, possibly after a failed or aborted hit, on July 25, 2020.
The bombs attached to the drones consisted of Tupperware-like containers filled with C4 charges and ball bearings to act as shrapnel.
America now faces the threat of white supremacy and right wing militias — essentially homegrown terrorism, for which it is not prepared, as we clearly saw during the storming of the US Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro also survived an assassination attempt while speaking at a military event in Caracas in August of 2018, BBC News reported.
Two drones loaded with explosives went off near the president’s stand, officials said.
Bodyguards protected Maduro with bulletproof shields after the alleged attack, which injured seven soldiers.
The same thing could happen in the United States, Europe, or anywhere. All of which points to the need for effective drone countermeasures.
Not surprisingly, CERBAIR’s kit is being used, among others, by special forces that protect heads of state from Class 1 drones (NATO designation).
According to EDR Magazine, the Chimera has been thoroughly field tested by various French military and police units, which received pre-production systems, and was also used during some events such as the G7 meeting in Biarritz in August 2019 and the Med 7 in Corsica in September 2020.
Sources: ZDNet, NBC News, The Drive, BBC News, EDR Magazine