Watch a U.S. Navy Chopper Shoot Down a Drone
That’s one way to deal with enemy robots
by JOSEPH TREVITHICK
As the United States steadily loses its monopoly on drones of all shapes and sizes, the Pentagon is looking for ways to protect troops from their prying eyes — or worse — in any future conflict. An official video now shows a U.S. Navy chopper shooting down a small pilotless planes as part of a practice session.
In the clip filmed on Aug. 6, 2015, a crew member aboard a Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopter shoots down a tiny unmanned target with a 7.62-millimeter M-240 door gun. After being hit multiple times, the drone appears to spiral out of control before crashing into the water off Point Mugu, California.
Next up, an MH-60S Knighthawk shoots at another drone off camera with its 20-millimeter M-197 Gatling cannon.
The naval aviators were participating in a special training exercise dubbed Black Dart. Since 2011, the services have gathered each year at the Navy’s base at Point Mugu to test out various ways of countering unmanned threats.
“It’s a problem for everyone,” Air Force Maj. Scott Gregg, the project officer for the 2015 Black Dart event, said of drones to military reporters. “Our allies are using them, our coalition partners are using them, but our adversaries are using them too.”
Russia, China and Iran all operate various types of pilotless aircraft and are constantly cooking up new types. These countries offer many of their drones for sale on the open market.
Tehran has also sent drones to militant groups such as Hezbollah. Around the world, militant groups are making use of commercial “quadcopter” types that anyone can buy online.
All in all, it’s no surprise that American troops are training to take them out.