What Successful Use of Light Marine Air Defense Integrated System Means for the U.S.

By  //  August 13, 2019

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energy weapon that blasts radio signals

The Light Marine Air Defense Integrated System (LMADIS) is an energy weapon that blasts radio signals. Weapons that have previously been used to deal with such attacks rely on artillery or lasers. (11th Marine Expeditionary Unit/US Marine Corps image)

Recently, President Trump announced that a US warship destroyed by an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz following heightened tensions between the two countries.

A month after Iran shot down a $220 million US drone out of the sky, the US Marine Corps took down an Iranian UAV of its own.

The tension between the two countries has been high for some time, but this particular strike marks the first reported successful use of the Light Marine Air Defense Integrated System.

The Light Marine Air Defense Integrated System (LMADIS) is an energy weapon that blasts radio signals. Weapons that have previously been used to deal with such attacks rely on artillery or lasers. The successful use of this weapon is the first of its kind, but what does this mean for the US?

Execution of LMADIS

According to President Trump, the drone came within 1,000 yards of the USS Boxer (an amphibious Navy assault ship) and ignored ‘multiple calls to stand down’. The drone continued its approach, which is when the USS Boxer decided to use it’s LMADIS.

The LMADIS compromises of two all-terrain vehicles called Polaris MRZRs. One of the vehicles serves as a command unit, while the other is outfitted with sensors and signal-jamming equipment. Using a radio frequency blast, the two vehicles were able to intercept the drone.

Bryan Clarke, a former special assistant to the chief of naval operations, said, “It’s not all that different from the drone zappers you can buy commercially. It’s just higher power, and it operates on a wider frequency range.”

Once locked onto its target, the LMADIS overwhelms it with radio waves in that same frequency in order to server the link. Effectively, the LMADIS fries the circuit of drones using radio frequency and this is exactly what it did with the Iranian drone.

What Does it Mean For the US?

The US military are no strangers to dealing with intrusive drones, especially in countries such as Syria and Afghanistan, where small drone strikes have become common.

Until now, they have relied on traditional artillery and lasers. However, traditional artillery is very expensive and difficult, whilst lasers still require an optical sight and precise targeting of the drone.

Using LMADIS is much cheaper than using traditional artillery and it requires less preciseness than using lasers. Which means that the LMADIS could save the US a lot of money and could mean that more drones are effectively taken care of.

Despite its first successful use, the LMADIS is still considered to be in its first phase. It does have disadvantages, such as it is ineffective against a fully autonomous drone, and it can only cause inconveniences for bigger UAVs as opposed to destroying them.

The ambitious project to ensure the LMADIS is more effective in the future is still ongoing, however this project could have huge implications for the future of US military.

Other Uses of Drones

Drones can be used for a whole number of reasons and activities. Advancements in technology have made it possible for these most people to be able to purchase a drone.

For example, individuals, companies, farmers, and small businesses have all started to use drones to help them get work done faster, smarter and at a lower risk.

“Some people use drones for recreational use whilst others might use drones for commercial aerial surveillance. Drones are even being used in the aftermath of disasters to help locate and save the lives of those who are missing.” tells us Maria Gonzalez, editor over at Monederosmart.com.

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