• Caption: The U.S. Defense Department has released a new strategy for countering the proliferation of small unmanned aerial systems. The strategy is designed to provide the framework for addressing the threat to within the United States and internationally. Credit: Lobachad/Shutterstock
     Caption: The U.S. Defense Department has released a new strategy for countering the proliferation of small unmanned aerial systems. The strategy is designed to provide the framework for addressing the threat to within the United States and internationally. Credit: Lobachad/Shutterstock

New Pentagon Strategy Counters Small Unmanned Aircraft

January 7, 2021
Posted by: George I. Seffers
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The document addresses the exponential growth in aerial drones.


The U.S. Defense Department released today its strategy for countering small unmanned aircraft systems, which have become a growing threat both for the homeland and abroad.

The strategy explains that the exponential growth of small, unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) creates new risks for the Department of Defense (DOD). “Technology trends are dramatically transforming legitimate applications of sUAS while simultaneously making them increasingly capable weapons in the hands of state actors, non-state actors, and criminals,” the document states. “Small UAS also may pose hazards to DOD operations in the air, land, and maritime domains when controlled by negligent or reckless operators. The Department must protect and defend personnel, facilities, and assets in an environment where increasing numbers of sUAS will share the skies with DOD aircraft, operate in the airspace over DOD installations, and be employed by our nation’s adversaries.”

The strategy outlines three strategic objectives and three so-called “lines of effort” to achieve those objectives. The objectives are to: enhance the joint force through innovation and collaboration to protect personnel, assets, and facilities in the homeland, host nations, and contingency locations; develop materiel and non-materiel solutions that facilitate the safe and secure execution of missions and deny adversaries the ability to impede U.S. objectives; and build and broaden relationships with allies and partners to protect U.S. interests at home and abroad.

The three lines of effort are: ready the force, defend the force, and build the team. To ready the force, the department will maximize current counter-sUAS capabilities and use a risk-based approach to guide efficient and rapid development of a suite of materiel and non-materiel solutions to address emerging requirements. To defend the force, the department will coordinate the delivery of joint capabilities and synchronize the development of operational concepts and doctrine. Finally, as the global military partner of choice, the Defense Department will build the team by leveraging its existing relationships, create new partnerships, and expand information sharing to meet emerging challenges.

The read the full strategy document, click here.

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