The US Navy is urgently seeking an anti-drone solution to counter new threats

The US Navy has launched a call for tenders to equip its ships with an anti-drone solution intended to intercept the numerous drones launched by the Houthi rebels against its destroyers, and the ships they escort, on a now daily basis.

If the new solution will have to respond to the constraints imposed by this threat, particularly in terms of costs and consumption of ammunition, the US Navy's request is characterized above all by its excessively short timetable for an American project.

Indeed, American destroyers will have to receive the new system(s), before 6 to 12 months, a very unusual deadline for the US armies, which highlights the urgency and reality of this threat, which also concerns European ships.

The reality of the drone threat in the naval domain highlighted in the Red Sea

From emerging, the threat that drones represent for military ships, as well as those they escort and protect, has become, in a few weeks, very real for US Navy ships operating in the Red Sea, and in the Gulf of Aden.

Like other military ships protecting commercial traffic from the Houthi threat in this area, US Navy destroyers have had to, on numerous occasions, use their anti-aircraft missiles to intercept cruise missiles and missiles. anti-ship ballistic missiles launched from Yemen.

Arleigh burke destroyer
The SM-2 and ESSM missiles used by US Navy destroyers to intercept Houthi drones cost 10 to 30 times more expensive than the drones they intercept.

Above all, for lack of a suitable system, they had to use these same SM-2, ESSM and SM-6 missiles, at several million dollars each, to intercept attack drones which only cost a few tens of thousands of dollars. $ to make.

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