China’s Aerial Hunter Drone Fires Net To Capture Other Drones
Chinese Inventors have taken the net gun commonly used to capture pets and animals and transformed it into a weapon capable of snaring small aerial drones in flight.
A traditional net gun fired from a special rifle deploys a small net, which looks like a spider web, when fired to ensnare its prey. It's fired by explosive charge or compressed air to propel a weighted net toward a target. The net engulfs the target and immobilizes it by restricting its movements.
Technicians at state-owned China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CSIC) have announced the development of a new hunter drone that can trap other drones and small aircraft by firing a 16 square meter (172 square feet) web at them.
"Caught by the web, the hostile drone should lose power and fall to the ground," said a story in one of the websites of the People's Liberation Army.
CSIC said their new net gun-armed hunter hexacopter drone can operate alone or integrate with China's defense system against small, slow and low-flying targets. The hunter drone can also conduct surveillance and reconnaissance, according to CSIC.
The net gun-armed drone is now part of China's interception system against small, slow, low flying targets, said a recent online story by China Central Television (CCTV). The state-owned TV station also said the hunter drone can work together with land-based rocket launchers and radars.
The net can also be autonomously launched by the hunter drone, which hints at some form of artificial intelligence (AI) in play. Entangled by the web, the hostile drone should lose power and fall to the ground, said CCTV.
"Small, slow, low-flying aircraft are difficult or cost-inefficient for traditional air defense systems to intercept," said an anonymous military expert to state-run media. "As drones become more popular and common, they bring about more security threats."
This man said drones can conduct surveillance, reconnaissance and bombardment missions in battle and in non-combat areas.
China said other countries such as the United States have developed similar drones, while others are also developing similar net gun-armed aerial drones.