We're not the only ones with drones. China, Russia, Iran, France -- all sorts of enemies of freedom have unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs. All in all, "some 32 nations are developing or manufacturing more than 250models" of drones, according to the Defense Department's UAV Roadmap. So it's only naturally that someone in the Pentagon would be trying to figure out a way to knock those UAVs out of the sky.Darpa, the Defense Department's way-out researchers, are looking to spend about $11 million over three years for their drone-killer, dubbed the Peregrine. From Darpa's proposed budget for 2006:
The Peregrine UAV Killer program will develop a small, low-cost, high-endurance UAV, with a high dash speed, capable of destroying most enemy UAVs. Small UAVs with GPS guidance systems have reached such a low cost level that expendable UAV programs are now emerging and GPS capable avionics are available for the hobby market. Current options to counter such a threat, especially at high altitude, involve expensive ground launched anti-air systems or the exposure of manned interceptor aircraft. The Peregrine program will develop and demonstrate a UAV interceptor aircraft that will utilize a dual propulsive power system to provide very high endurance for the loiter and surveillance period, and a very high dash speed for intercept and kill...Program Plans:- Define system requirements.- Develop concept design.- Demonstrate aircraft performance and kill capability.