US Navy To Revive Flak Cannons To Combat Drone Attacks

The proliferation of unmanned aircraft has frightened the U.S. Navy into developing a powerful airburst round to knock drones out of the sky, reported Military.com

The precision airburst munition, similar to anti-aircraft flak rounds used in World War II, is being designed to combat drones that are targeting warships at sea. 

The new round is compatible with the Littoral Combat Ship's (LCS) 30mm deck gun. 

"We're looking at another round called the proximity round, which detects the drone as it approaches and then blows up," Kevin Knowles, who works on Northrop Grumman's LCS and unmanned surface vessel programs, said Tuesday at the Surface Navy Association conference. "It's not a radar system, but it's something similar. That's what we're looking at for drones."

Knowles said it's nearly impossible to hit a drone with a solid round, that's why the Navy is reviving old technology with a modern twist to combat unmanned aircraft. 

The LCS has two Mk44 Bushmaster II 30mm chain guns that can fire 100 to 200 rounds per minute. 

Last summer, Iran flew a drone, undetected, over a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group transiting the Strait of Hormuz. 

The Pentagon has tasked a 60-person team to develop new policies and find advanced weapons that can counter the increasing threat of drones worldwide.