Drone Killer: Chevy Trucks Now Armed With Powerful Directed Energy Weapons

Sierra Nevada Corp. and its defense partners, Ascent Vision and RADA Technologies, have developed a mobile counter-drone system for the protection of airports, high-value targets, and for the operational use within elite units of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) on the modern battlefield.

Last week, Sierra Nevada brought its X-MADIS (eXpeditionary Mobile Aerial Defense Integrated System) mounted on a militarized, 2018 Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck to the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC), which stirred up massive interest within the special operations community, said Defense News.

Sierra Nevada, Ascentvision and RADA Technologies Inc. brought its counter-drone system to SOFIC. (Source: Sierra Nevada Corp)

For SOFIC, the company decided to integrate the X-MADIS into the bed of a light pickup truck. Why?… Well, on the modern battlefield, or what the Army likes to call “hybrid wars,” special forces are now using nondescript, armored light pickup trucks and Polaris dune buggies in Africa and the Middle East. It is a perfect civilian cover, as the enemy tends to have difficulties identifying the vehicle from friend or foe at long distances.

The X-MADIS features a Rada RPS-42 pMHR radar detection system, the Ascent camera system CM-202U EO/IR multi-sensor gimbal for identification, and the Sierra Nevada SkyCap counter drone Mode E-jammer. The directed energy weapon has a range of about two miles and can detect, identify, and destroy enemy drone swarms while the vehicle is traveling at a high rate of speed.

Sierra Nevada, Ascentvision and RADA Technologies Inc. brought its counter-drone system to SOFIC. (Source: Sierra Nevada Corp)

Sierra Nevada Corp. has been working with its partner’s Ascent Vision and the Israeli company RADA Technologies Inc. to develop the X-MADIS for the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) modernization efforts to prepare for the next two decades of hybrid wars.

Defense News said special forces are currently using the X-MADIS mounted on a Polaris Defense MRZR in an unknown location, most likely somewhere in Africa or Syria.

Polaris Defense MRZR. (Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD))

Sierra Nevada Corp. selected its partners because of their “best of breed” in critical technologies that make the direct energy weapon so effective, according to Jerry Coburn, Sierra Nevada’s director of business development, who spoke to Defense News during the show.

“The system can detect, identify and defeat threats through EW attack while on the move at up to 50 mph,” Coburn said. The X-MADIS weapon requires just two special force operators, one driving the vehicle and the other managing the system using a tablet from within the cab of the truck.

Defense News said X-MADIS had been successfully tested on other military vehicles, including the Polaris MRZR dune buggy, a mine-resistant vehicle, and an ambush-protected vehicle.

“We recognize the effectiveness of the system is only as good as our knowledge of the threats that exist out there around the globe,” Coburn said. “And currently those are largely commercial off-the-shelf. But we know that our adversaries will never rest as they continue to develop their tactics, techniques and procedures and incorporate new controller technologies.” The challenge is to maintain pace with the rapidly changing drone market, Coburn added.

At the SOFIC, there was much interest from non-DoD clients, such as law enforcement, border patrol, and other organizations that secure high-value infrastructure assets within the U.S. Next month, Sierra Nevada Corp. will participate in the SOFWERX ThunderDrone Rapid Prototyping event at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. SOFWERX is another special operations conference designed to help private industry and DoD organizations form relationships to test and acquire new military capabilities.

As for now, it seems as Sierra Nevada Corp. is taking full advantage of President Donald Trump’s enormous military spending bill that was signed in March. The DoD and its armed forces are about to get a flood of new shiny toys to deploy in the hybrid wars around the world.


Ignatius NidStyles Mon, 06/04/2018 - 00:31 Permalink

I recall a story from a few years ago where their was a war game exercise in the ME.  Some street smart colonel with excellent tactical skills and unconventional strategies mopped up the empire's forces.  I think some red faced generals called foul.  You got a good commander and some guys who know how to follow and execute an order and most situations can be dealt with, if not overcome. Imagine, "Not fair!  He hung aluminum foil on his drones!," or some such.

In reply to by NidStyles

NidStyles Ignatius Mon, 06/04/2018 - 02:36 Permalink

Quit ease-dropping you weirdo.


 The solution was a bit less complex, and merely needs a change of approach.


Their solutions will never work, this is the nuclear situation all over again. I already ran through all the approaches to stop it. You can’t beat it once it’s operational. 

I created Skynet. What did I get for my efforts, clowns running their mouths.


In reply to by Ignatius

rtb61 Keyser Mon, 06/04/2018 - 02:26 Permalink

Point it at people, easy, it's a cancer machine, straight up. What they of course lie about, it's a remote control only drone killer. No remote and the drone just goes straight to target and now with the latest 3d visual mapping techniques a drone can hunt you down in a crowd of thousands by your own face and well, do what ever the drone is designed to do to you, without communicating with anyone or anything.

US defence industries have become such mega dicks, marketing and selling crap junk because of lobbyists being able to pay off corrupt politicians to buy it. Everyone proclaiming how great it is, until they attempt to deploy it and it fails. The whole US defence establishment has seemed to jumped whole heartedly into F35 Flying Pig mode, it doesn't matter how well it works, just how much profit it can generate, how much profit it generates to maintain and designed to be replaced.

There is a real sense of marketing with US military hardware now, they have to sell the rubbish to the public, to get them to accept it because it often is inherently way, way, overpriced rubbish that does not work, can not be deployed and is often scrapped not long after it is bought.

The US is spending more and more on defence and in reality achieving less and less, whilst pretending to do more and more, sort of, more just marketing war and marketing pretending to win and marketing greater threats and marketing more spending and marketing how beautiful (seriously only the US) the equipment is and how effective at killing unarmed people.

In reply to by Keyser

Eyes Opened JacksNight Mon, 06/04/2018 - 03:25 Permalink

Thanks for the link.... I'd rather read about pedos & pedo camps being exposed than some new toy from the fucking MIC...

Tyler needs to be reporting this stuff....

I see u have a downvote ?? I wonder who would downvote this ? Do we have pedos in our midst here at ZH ?? 😨


Heres a repeat of JacksNight's link ....


In reply to by JacksNight

LaugherNYC Sun, 06/03/2018 - 23:48 Permalink

But but but but



killer drone swarms will sink our aircraft carriers!

Can you get a Silverado or F-150 to swim in the ocean?

There, see. Fixed it for ya.

One of these i… lester1 Mon, 06/04/2018 - 05:18 Permalink

Can it stop a single drone if the designer uses non standard radio frequencies for control and video, and a non proprietory flight controller? There have been SO MANY turnkey solutions for sending a train of pulses from A-B made in the last few years, using such a plethora of freqencies and modes for the radio link, that there is no earthly reason to use the off the shelf radio control stuff any more.

(shielded against brute force RF attack & with automatic climb to altitude and fly to a preset point for situations where the control link fails, of course.)

In reply to by lester1

DavidFL Mon, 06/04/2018 - 00:07 Permalink

We need to buy thousands of them - It does not really matter if they work - just buy them!!

Do we have any options, can I get mag wheels and a blow up doll for the front pax seat?

DavidFL Mon, 06/04/2018 - 00:15 Permalink

"It is a perfect civilian cover, as the enemy tends to have difficulties identifying the vehicle from friend or foe at long distances."

Yea - the multiple plate phased array antenna standing 3 feet above the roof of the truck is not an obvious give away.