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Army Advances Counter-UAS Strategy

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U.S. Army
Monday, November 14, 2016

The Army is refining and aligning its strategy to counter the unmanned aerial systems threat that is looming ever larger.

A recent 13-page, unclassified “strategy extract” focuses on countermeasures for UAS groups 1 through 3 on DoD’s scale of five UAS groups, the smaller systems that can’t easily be countered by integrated air and missile defense systems.

“As UAS have become smaller, slower and operate at lower altitudes, they have become more challenging to detect, identify, and defeat,” the extract says. “Technological advances have exacerbated these challenges.”

The extract acknowledges there is “no single, comprehensive materiel solution that will make the UAS problem disappear, nor does a single Army, joint, or multinational capability that can, from either a proficiency or sufficiency standpoint, defeat the UAS threat.”

As such, successfully countering UAS requires “integration of numerous capabilities” involved in all seven Army warfighting functions—doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities—as well as the other services and U.S. multinational partners.

The Army’s counter-UAS strategy will move forward on three broad axes:

  • Pursue joint combined arms solutions. The extract says the counter-UAS mission is still seen largely as an “air defense-only” problem. “The mission must be viewed as an inherently combined arms operation … one which Army, joint, and multinational air defense forces must address unilaterally.”
  • Integrate capabilities across all domains. “Joint combined arms is, by definition, multidomain. This strategy emphasizes the role of integrating capabilities that cut across multiple domains”—land, sea, air and space.
  • Adopt a whole-of-government approach. “Multinational partners have already begun implementing aggressive C-UAS plans of their own,” the extract says, adding that partner capacities in this area should be built “long before hostilities commence. By combining efforts and sharing knowledge, U.S. forces can maximize the effects of limited resources.”

The full document is online at www.arcic.army.mil/App_Documents/Army-CUAS-Strategy.pdf.