Evan Hunt, business development director for high-energy lasers at Raytheon, has said the Department of Defense should put more focus on testing counter-unmanned aerial system technology for mid-sized drones, Air Force Magazine reported Thursday.
Hunt told the publication that most counter-UAS exercises revolve around drones in the Groups 1 and 2 categories, which include the smallest aircraft. He noted that there should be more tests on Group 3 drones, which can operate at 18K feet above sea level.
He added that the DoD can utilize technologies like 50-kilowatt lasers and Raytheon’s Coyote anti-UAS aircraft to defeat Group 3 drones. Surface-to-air missiles are also plausible options, but nonmilitary entities such as airports may not be able to afford such capabilities.
“Any kinetic system is an investment,” said Hunt. “If you run out of missiles, you need more missiles. You need spares, you need to store those things in a careful manner. There’s inspections, there’s all this overhead associated with kinetics.”
According to Hunt, Raytheon seeks to engage with an Army-led DoD office responsible for anti-drone initiatives focused on base security.