Patriot missile used to shoot down $200 Drone

Must be nice to have that kind of money to waste!

A U.S. ally used a $3 million Patriot missile to shoot down a $200 drone purchased from Amazon.com, an American general has revealed, questioning the economic consequences of the operation.

Gen. David Perkins told the Association of the United States Army’s Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama that the strike was made by a “very close ally.”

“A very close ally of ours was dealing with an adversary that was using the small quadcopter UASes and they shot it down with a Patriot missile,” he said, stopping short of actually naming the country in question.

“Now, that worked, they got it… that quadcopter that cost $200 on Amazon.com did not stand a chance against a Patriot.”

While Perkins admitted the ally “won” when it came to the “kinetic exchange ratio,” he questioned whether the move was economically wise.

“I am not sure that it is a good economic exchange ratio, in fact, if I am the enemy, I am thinking ‘I am just going to go on eBay and buy as many of these $300 quadcopters that I can and expend all these Patriot missiles,’” he said.

He went on to explain that there are more cost effective ways to combat such drones.

“There’s ways to get at this with electronic warfare, with cyber,” he said.

Thirteen countries possess Patriot missiles, according to manufacturer Raytheon.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are becoming an increasing problem for militaries, with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) jihadists modifying commercial drones to carry 40mm rifle grenades in Syria.

In January, the US Air Force placed an order for net-filled shotgun shells designed to shoot down unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Courtesy: RT

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Dubai aims to launch hover-taxi by July

Drones that carry humans will be the next big revolution in travel.

Dubai has tested a Chinese prototype of a self-driving hover-taxi, its transport authority said on Monday, with the aim of introducing the aerial vehicle in the emirate by July.

The test of the one-man electric vehicle comes as the city state in the United Arab Emirates seeks to ensure a quarter of its means of transport are self-driving by 2030.

The EHang 184 can travel on a programmed course at 100 kilometres an hour (60 mph) at an altitude of 300 metres (1,000 feet), the authority said in a statement.

A passenger simply needs to select a destination for the autonomous taxi to take off, fly the route and touch down in the chosen spot monitored by a ground control centre, it said.

The vehicle, made by Chinese drone manufacturer EHang, can recharge in two hours and make trips of up to 30 minutes.

“The autonomous aerial vehicle exhibited at the World Government Summit is not just a model,” authority head Mattar al-Tayer said on Monday.

“We have already experimented (with) the vehicle in a flight in (the) Dubai sky,” he said in English.

The authority was “making every effort to start the operation of the autonomous aerial vehicle in July 2017” to help reduce traffic congestion, Tayer said.

EHang
A model of the EHang 184 at the World Government Summit 2017 in Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah on February 13, 2017

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-02-passenger-carrying-drone-dubai.html#jCp

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7-Eleven makes first drone delivery!

7-Eleven makes the first commercial delivery by drone before Amazon and Google…

You may soon be able to order a Slurpee without having to leave your home. Drone startup Flirtey recently partnered with convenience store chain 7-Eleven to make the first commercial delivery to a private residence in Reno, Nevada earlier this month.

The delivery took place on July 11th when Flirtey flew an autonomous drone a mile from a 7-Eleven location to a private home in Reno. According to 7-Eleven, the initial delivery included a chicken sandwich, donuts, coffee, candy, and Slurpees. The goods were packaged into two containers, each of which were separately flown to the home. Once they arrived, each container was lowered to the ground and retrieved by the homeowners.

The drone flew autonomously from the store to the household, using the vehicle’s GPS system to navigate. The company first selected a store from which to deliver, and surveyed customers within a one-mile radius to see if they would be willing to take part in the pilot program.

This isn’t the first delivery that Flirtey has made. It was the first company to make a delivery of medical supplies in Virginia in 2015, flew water and emergency supplies to a home in Hawthrone, Nevada and completed the first shore-to-ship delivery last month. This delivery appears to be the first time that a customer has placed an order with a store and had it delivered.

Developing the infrastructure required for delivering purchases by drone to customers is a goal that many retailers have been working toward — most notably Amazon.com and Walmart. However, while the regulatory environment has begun to shift, there are still many hurdles to go before autonomous deliveries are a reality. This first experiment with 7-Eleven and Flirtey is a first tiny step toward that goal.

7-Eleven noted that it plans to continue working with the drone company, but didn’t lay out any sort of timeline for rolling out autonomous deliveries to a wider region.

Via: Tech Crunch, Popular Science