中东地区使用小型武装无人驾驶飞机UAS)的数量迅速增长,这些飞机通常由消费型无人机改装而成或用商用硬件在当地组装而成。它们的用途已经远远超出了“伊斯兰国”组织最初部署的投掷多翼战术手榴弹的范围,现在还包括对战略目标的远程攻击。

The Middle East has seen rapid growth in the use of small armed unmanned aircraft, often modified from consumer drones or locally assembled from commercial hardware. Their use has extended far beyond the tactical grenade-dropping multicopters first fielded by the Islamic State group to now encompass long-range attacks on strategic targets.

小型和简易无人机对防御者提出了特殊的挑战,因为防空系统一直在努力应对小型、慢速飞行目标,这些目标更像是鸟,而不是攻击机或巡航导弹。此外,许多无人驾驶飞机很难或不可能归因于确定的来源,这使它们成为本来就不稳定地区的不稳定因素。

Small and improvised UAVs present particular challenges to defenders, as air defense systems have struggled to cope with small, slow-flying targets that register more like birds than strike aircraft or cruise missiles. In addition, many unmanned aircraft are difficult or impossible to attribute to a definite source, making them a destabilizing factor in an already unstable region.

 

最近的动向表明小型无人机制造者可以以最低的成本得到巨大的收获,可能令他们倍感振奋。能自主飞行,因此能够抗干扰,还具有目标识别和避障功能的无人驾驶飞机正逐渐成为商用飞机。群集软件也在迅速发展。预计在不久的将来,机动无人机的协同作战将产生复杂的攻击。

Recent actions are likely to energize builders of small drones, having shown how much they can achieve for minimal cost. Autonomous, and therefore jam-proof, drones with object recognition and obstacle avoidance are becoming commercially available. Swarming software is also developing fast. Complex attacks by coordinated groups of maneuvering UAVs can be expected in the near future.

同样,防御措施也在加强。这些措施将包括围绕高价值目标的更详尽的分层防御措施以及创新系统的部署。今年9月,美国空军购买了雷神公司的Phaser高功率微波反无人机武器,并将其送往海外评测其“抵御无人驾驶航空系统威胁”的能力。移相器以光速运转,因此其弹药实际上是免费的且不受限制。沙特阿拉伯可能是测试移相器对抗真实威胁的理想试验场。

Similarly, defensive efforts are being be stepped up. These will include more elaborate layered defenses around high-value targets and the deployment of innovative systems. In September, the U.S. Air Force purchased Raytheon’s Phaser high-power microwave counter-UAV weapon and is sending it overseas for evaluation “against unmanned aerial systems threats.” Phaser works at the speed of light, and its ammunition is effectively free and unlimited. Saudi Arabia may be the ideal proving ground to test Phaser against real threats.

与此类似,美国海军陆战队2018年部署的陆基防空系统,除其他措施外,还可以部署雷神Coyote系统的筒射无人机作为无人机拦截机。据报道,美国军方还购买了安杜里尔(Anduril)拦截无人机。与针对小型无人机的导弹相比,它们可以提供成本更低,灵活性更高的解决方案。

Similarly, the U.S. Marine Corps’ ground-based air defense system, fielded in 2018, in addition to other measures can deploy Raytheon Coyote tube-launched drones as UAV interceptors. The U.S. military is also reported to have acquired Anduril interceptor drones. These may provide a solution with lower cost and greater flexibility than missiles against small UAVs.

这两方的技术发展都很迅速。中东仍将是进攻性和防御性小型无人机战争的试验场,甚至是孵化地。

The technology on both sides is developing rapidly. The Middle East will continue be a testing ground, and even an incubator, for both offensive and defensive small drone warfare.

​这条消息是David Hambling在Aviation Week & Space Technology发表文章的摘要。全文中可以找到有关攻击、声明、政府回应和防御系统的更多详细信息。订阅者可以在此处访问完整的文章 (英文)。