Monday, October 01, 2018

Keep your eye on the sky and move indoors

The socialist president of Venezuela almost became Victim-0 this summer, and I am not sure we really know how to deal with what is not just coming, but already here.

What started in Iraq with quad-copter dropping small explosives with badminton shuttlecocks glued to the end are long gone.

This has been a long time coming. There was some silly British movie in the late-70s that had people using RC aircraft to not just smuggle something I don't recall, but also countering those RC aircraft with other RC aircraft. It's been almost 4-decades, but I still remember it.

It is helpful to remember that "RC aircraft" is just a less sexy way of saying "drone" which is what a quad-copter is which is just an entry level UAS. 

Though their Achilles heal is their vulnerable control links - that can be fixed even for recreational COTS. This event will ensure it will be fixed next time someone goes for the king.

As Jeremy Kryt at The Daily Beast tells us, the day of the drone assassin has arrived;
In November of 2017, The Daily Beast broke the story of the first illegally weaponized drone found in Mexico. It was a relatively primitive version that sported a homemade shrapnel bomb and was found in the back of a vehicle belonging to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), in the state of Guanajuato.

Then, about a month ago, evidence surfaced that CJNG had already advanced their drone designs considerably.

On July 10, the house of a Mexican public safety officer was targeted in a drone attack in Tecate, Baja California—a border city in the larger Tijuana-San Diego municipality that falls within CJNG’s established territory.

According to a new report co-authored by Dr. Robert Bunker, of the U.S. Army War College, the Tecate drone managed to drop its payload ISIS-style on the officer’s residence. Although the attack was apparently meant as a warning—since the grenades still had their safety pins intact—it also showed a clear step up in cartel-drone enhancement, including a second unmanned aircraft that conducted reconnaissance on site.

“Of the two drones, the Tecate one has far better lethality than the one in Guanajuato—we are comparing military grade grenades versus an IED,” Bunker told The Daily Beast.

“This is still an evolving global threat,” Bunker said. “The next firebreak, now that earlier ones have recently been broken in Mexico and Venezuela... would be weaponized drone incidents taking place in either Western Europe or in the United States. You can’t get much closer to the U.S. than Tecate, Mexico for an incident like this.”

Michel agreed with Bunker about the international risk posed by evolving drone technology.

“We're definitely going to see more attacks of this kind, be they assassination attempts against a specific leader or indiscriminate terrorist attacks,” Michel said. “Part of the appeal of drones for terrorists groups is that they make great cable news fodder. Showing that you have weaponized drones is an excellent way to draw attention to your organization and to incite fear.”

Unfortunately, anti-drone jamming devices lag far behind UAV offensive capabilities, Michel explained.

“In a nutshell, no single counter-drone technology is one hundred-percent effective against one hundred percent of drones in one hundred percent of cases,” he said. “And that’s before you even get to the countermeasures to the countermeasures. There are already drones in development that would be entirely resistant to the kinds of jamming systems reportedly used to protect Maduro.”
While everyone has the quad-copter top of mind as a delivery platform (a delivery platform BTW that is slow & fragile enough to be defeated close in via hard kill with any 3.5" 12-ga loaded with B to T sized shot), it is not the platform that concerns me.

No, there are much more frightening delivery devices out there you can buy off the shelf with little care. With a few modifications, if any - here is your threat. Old school RC aircraft, upgraded and reinforced.

You don't need a huge payload, just enough. Here is your entering argument to ponder. MotionRC's F-86 with a 80mm 12-blade EDF engine. Electric, so a lot more quiet and quicker to get in the air compared to wet-fuel mini-jets. There are larger and faster ones than this example. Just an entering argument here.


Now ponder that power plant(s) in a bespoke design to carry ordnance on a one-way flight.

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