Some postings in other threads (Syria Rebel attack on Russian bases, etc) spread around, so maybe one thread for 

Reported Usage, Design, Discussion, Countermeasures (Weaponize, not annoyance drones like Gatwick)

Starting off:

10JAN19

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A bomb-laden drone launched by Yemen’s Shiite rebels exploded over a military parade Thursday for the Saudi-led coalition, killing at least six people in a brazen attack threatening an uneasy U.N.-brokered peace in the Arab world’s poorest nation.

The attack at the Al-Anad Air Base showed the unwillingness of Yemen’s Houthi rebels to halt fighting in the civil war, even if it doesn’t violate a peace deal reached last month in Sweden between them and Yemen’s internationally recognized government.

The Houthi attack near the southern port city of Aden with a new drone variant also raised more questions about Iran’s alleged role in arming the rebels with drone and ballistic missile technology, something long denied by Tehran despite researchers and U.N. experts linking the weapons to the Islamic Republic.

The assault shocked the pro-government troops, who carried away the dead and wounded, their fatigues stained with blood. All the victims were government forces, officials said.

“We were under the impression that the coalition has a tight control over airspace and there is no way the Houthis can send drones or planes to attack us in the south,” said Mohammed Ali, a soldier in Al-Annad 2nd Brigade guarding the parade.

Yemeni army spokesman Mohammed al-Naqib was speaking at a podium during the parade, with photos of Yemen’s president and Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia’s crown princes behind him, when a high-pitched whine drew his attention and others. A moment later, the drone exploded overhead, pelting him and others with shrapnel.

In the chaotic aftermath, soldiers carried away a severely wounded comrade. A pool of blood collected in front of the plush seats set aside for high-ranking military officials.

At least six people were killed, medical officials said. Among the wounded were Yemeni Military Intelligence Service chief Mohammad Saleh Tamah; Deputy Chief of Staff Saleh al-Zindani; senior military commander Mohammad Jawas; and Lahj Gov. Ahmed al-Turki, Yemeni officials said. All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to journalists.

https://www(dot)apnews.com/92f491d2794440afaf53967fceb0c1b9

File photo of Iranian Drone Qasef 2K is modeled after

Iranian Qasef drone

File Photo

qasef2

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Original Post

AP Explains: How Yemen's Rebels Increasingly Deploy Drones
January 10, 2019 4:43 PM Associated Press
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES —
In Yemen, the high-pitched whine of drones has been a part of life for over 15 years, ever since the first U.S. drone strike targeting al-Qaida in 2002. On Thursday, an attack on a military base where America once ran its drone program showed that the U.S. is no longer the only force deploying them.

The attack by Yemen's Shiite Houthi rebels that killed at least six people shows how the Arab world's poorest country has become one of the world's top battlefields for drones. Both the rebels and the Saudi-led coalition fighting them, as well as the U.S., continue to use them for surveillance and attacks.

But while the U.S. uses American-made drones and the coalition has turned to Chinese suppliers, the manufacturer of the Houthis' drones in both the air and the sea has been a contentious question.

The Iran link

A 2018 report by a U.N. panel of experts on Yemen looked, particularly at the Houthis' Qasef-1 drone.

"Although Houthi-aligned media announced that the Sanaa-based Ministry of Defense manufactured the [drone], in reality they are assembled from components supplied by an outside source and shipped into Yemen,'' the report said. The Qasef, or Striker, "is virtually identical in design, dimensions and capability to that of the Ababil-T, manufactured by the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industries.''

The Ababil-T can deliver up to a 45-kilogram (100-pound) warhead up to 150 kilometers (95 miles) away.

The Qasef-2K, which the Houthis said they used in Thursday's attack, similarly resembles the Iranian designs.

A research group called Conflict Armament Research, with the permission of the United Arab Emirates' elite Presidential Guard, also examined seized drones used by the Houthis and their allies to crash into Patriot missile batteries in Saudi Arabia.

The research group similarly said those drones shared "near-identical design and construction characteristics'' of Iranian drones.

Coalition forces last year also showed journalists a Houthi "drone boat'' filled with explosives that failed to detonate.

The officials also shared black-and-white images they said had come from the "drone boat.'' They said the pictures and associated data from the boat's computer showed Iranians building components for its guidance system in eastern Tehran, with a hat in the background of one picture bearing the symbol of Iran's hard-line paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

They said those involved in building the components probably believed it would be destroyed in the blast, so they didn't wipe the computer's hard drive.

For its part, Iran repeatedly has denied supplying the Houthis with drone or ballistic missile technology. However, Iran would have an interest in seeing Saudi Arabia, its archrival in the region, tied down in a bloody, protracted conflict with no clear end in sight.

remains of an Iranian Qasef-1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

drone boat-Shiite rebels in Yemen

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Aerial drones are the beginning. If you follow Euro trends at all, even a little, the drone trend is towards autonomous tracked or wheeled drones, vice our American insistence on autonomous flying vehicles. Payload is part of what will drive this.

Picture a tracked robot walking though a US mall. It would have colorful local advertisements on it, maybe even interact attractively with the crowd. Eventually it would move to the food court at noon on a Saturday.

Then it detonates 20-50 lbs of plastic explosive inside a well designed shrapnel vessel. It follows with a second blast, to target those who got up and are running away.

A second tracked drone with POLICE decals on the side is unloaded and driven into the mall at the same time as the primary device. It trails the first device at a respectable distance in loiter mode. It has cameras to feed the results back to the controller who can activate the first and second explosion and provide intel on the tempo and scale of response. After the primary and secondary explosions, the POLICE flag drone looks for the mass of first responders, then moves to that group and detonates. 

Crowded public places give me the heeby jeebies....

Don't think for a minute that Johnny Jihad didn't get ideas from watching Dallas PD deploy C4PO on the cop killer a year or two back.

Somewhat dated from 2 years ago, but an ISIS 'factory' that was build drone VBIEDs. The first appearance is that is some 'shade tree' work, but then you realize, that it will work. Even to the extent that they were building dummies that had heating elements in/on them so if the security forces were using thermal, it would appear a 'human' was driving.

Kind of ties into LONGEYE's scenario as they were building these 'drone' vehicles to use where there was not a ready source of human suicide drivers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9L4yUtpEkxQ

It is the next logical step.

-Vehicles can't get down streets that have anti vehicle bollards on the ends. C4PO can.
-A suicide vest can only carry so much payload.  C4.PO can carry a hell of a payload.
-C4PO doesn't get nervous as it crawls into a crowd of people and detonates.
-Properly disguised, C4PO can loiter in an area waiting for the crowd to expand without arousing much suspicion. Ahab can't as easily.

C4PO in a place like Disneyland could be a really bad day.

Certainly a bad scenario. And look how easy it was for the Harvey's Resort bombers (1980) to get a huge device into a secure area of the casino.

A pretty good paper from the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point USMA on the Islamic State drones
https://ctc(dot)usma.edu/app/uploads/2018/07/Islamic-State-and-Drones-Release-Version.pdf

Longeye posted:

It is the next logical step.

-Vehicles can't get down streets that have anti vehicle bollards on the ends. C4PO can.
-A suicide vest can only carry so much payload.  C4.PO can carry a hell of a payload.
-C4PO doesn't get nervous as it crawls into a crowd of people and detonates.
-Properly disguised, C4PO can loiter in an area waiting for the crowd to expand without arousing much suspicion. Ahab can't as easily.

C4PO in a place like Disneyland could be a really bad day.

Sort of like using those Security Robots that look like R2D2 and get so many laughs..?

And maybe for the price of a gilded AK ( a price was not told to the public)

ht tps://futurism.com/kalashnikov-suicide-drone-kyb-uav

The Maker of AK-47 Rifles Just Unveiled a “Suicide Drone”

"I think of it as democratizing smart bombs."

Russian weapons manufacturer Kalashnikov, maker of the ubiquitous AK-47 assault rifle, has unveiled a tiny drone that’s meant to destroy remote ground targets from a distance of up to 40 miles (64 km) away — by blowing itself up like a suicide bomber.

The “high-precision attack unmanned aerial system” dubbed KUB-UAV in a press release, was revealed earlier this month at the International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX), a major defense exhibition in the United Arab Emirates — and it could foretell the terrifying future of warfare.

“This is a very accurate and most effective weapon that is very difficult to fight with using traditional air defense systems,” said Sergey Chemezov, CEO of Kalashnikov’s state-owned parent company Rostec, in the press release.

The drone can reach speeds of up to 80 mph (130 km/h) and stay in the air for up to 30 minutes.

The system could give troops on the ground a number of major advantages: the KUB-UAV is almost completely silent, and can carry up to 6.6 pounds (3 kg) of explosives.

The drone will also be sold at a relatively low price. To some, that means a new era of warfare. “I think of it as democratizing smart bombs,” Nicholas Grossman, a professor of international relations at the University of Illinois, told the Washington Post.

Death From Above

The concept is also a big deal because of Kalashnikov’s stature in the world of military weaponry: its iconic AK-47 has been around since 1949 and is still in active use across the world today.

It’s not the first time the idea has cropped up. The Islamic State has been attaching explosives to commercial drones for a number of years now. In one instance, dozens of drones equipped with explosives and GPS attacked Russian troops in Syria last year.

How Kalashnikov’s new suicide drone will fit into the rules of conventional warfare remains unclear.

+++++++++

If really cheap & available in large numbers for "small armies", how long till leaked to - or captured by - terrorists?

600 miles is quite a distance.

Houthi Drone Attack Sets Saudi Oil Field On Fire By Irina Slav - Aug 19, 2019

A drone attack by the Yemeni Houthis caused fire at an oil and gas field in Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom’s Energy Minister said as quoted by the Saudi Press Agency.

Khalid al-Falih also said the damage caused by the explosive-laden drones was limited to a processing unit of the natural gas processing plant at the Shaybah field.

The Yemeni rebel group had earlier said it was using 10 drones to attack the Shaybah field in what they said was the “biggest attack in the depths” of Saudi Arabia yet, as per a Reuters report on the event. The Shaybah field lies about 600 miles from the Houthi-controlled parts of Yemen.

The Saudi Press Agency quoted Al-Falih as referring to the event as a “terroristic attack” and noting it had resulted in no casualties and had had no effect on Saudi oil and gas production or exports.

The minister also said, as quoted by the SPA, that “these attacks not only target Saudi Arabia, but also the global energy security of supply and through that the global economy, demonstrating once again the imperative for the global community to confront all terrorist entities that carry out such acts of sabotage, including the Houthi militias in Yemen.”

This is by far not the first attack on Saudi oil and gas infrastructure by the Iran-affiliated Houthi rebels. Earlier this year, the group said it had a list of 300 military targets in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, including oil and gas infrastructure.

Following this Saturday’s attack, the leader of the Houthis said “The drone operation today is an important warning to the Emirates,” as quoted by an Iran-affiliated news website.

Saudi Arabia, in coalition with the UAE, and Iran are essentially fighting a proxy war in Yemen, where the Saudis lead a military Arab coalition to “restore legitimacy” in the country, while the Houthi movement, which holds the capital Sanaa, is backed by Iran.

https://oilprice(dot)com/Geopolitics/Middle-East/Houthi-Drone-Attack-Sets-Saudi-Oil-Field-On-Fire.html#

Being used for supply/resupply


Punjab Police cancels leaves of all cops after Pakistani drones drop weapons in state September 25, 2019

pac-drone

The drone weighs nearly 10 kg and is capable of transporting 4 kg in single sortie| Photo: India Today
Punjab Police canceled leaves of all its personnel on Wednesday
A high alert was also sounded in Punjab after Pakistan drones dropped weapons in the state
In eight days, multiple drones dropped arms and ammunition into Indian territory
A high alert has been sounded in Punjab. After multiple drones flew from across the border to drop arms and ammunition in Punjab to drop AK-47 rifles, counterfeit currency, and narcotics, Punjab Police has canceled the holidays of all its employees.

In eight days, multiple drones dropped arms and ammunition into Indian territory. The drones from across the border dropped AK-47 rifles and narcotics in Punjab.

The arms and ammunition, dropped by the drones that came from across the border, was for terrorists to carry out 26/11-like attacks in Punjab and its neighboring states, sources in the Punjab Police said.

The plan, supported by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), was revealed after the Punjab Police seized a drone during its probe into the weapons seizure.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had on Sunday urged the Centre to alert the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Border Security Force (BSF) about the possibility of drones being used to supply weapons from across the border and also direct them to launch necessary counter-measures.

Punjab Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta had said that the weapons were suspected to have been delivered recently from across the border by the ISI, state-sponsored jihadi and pro-Khalistani terrorist outfits working under its command.

Punjab Police canceled the leaves of all its employees and has sounded a high alert as well in Punjab.

https://www(dot)indiatoday.in/india/story/kalyan-singh-babri-masjid-demolition-case-1603903-2019-09-27

 

Another article, same incidents

8 days, 10 sorties: Pakistan drones dropped AK-47 rifles, 80kg ammunition in Punjab

Multiple drones flew from across the border to drop arms and ammunition in Punjab, sources have said. In 10 sorties, AK-47 rifles and ammunition were dropped on the Indian side by terrorists.

The drone weighs nearly 10 kg and is capable of transporting 4kg in single sortie. (Photo for representation)
Heavy-lifting drones were used by Pakistan to drop AK-47 rifles, counterfeit currency and narcotics in 10 sorties spanned over eight days, an investigation into weapons seizure at Tarn Taran in Punjab has revealed.

The arms and ammunition, dropped by drones that came from across the border, was for terrorists to carry out 26/11-like attacks in Punjab and its neighbouring states, sources in the Punjab Police have said.

The plan, supported by Pakistan’s ISI, was revealed after the Punjab Police seized a drone during its probe into the weapons seizure.

The recovery of drone, allegedly used to drop arms and ammunition in Punjab, was made on the basis of information provided by the four Khakiastan Zindabad Force (KZF) terrorists arrested from Tarn Taran on September 22. The arrested terrorists had made an attempt to burn the drone but failed. The recovery of the burnt drone led police to the operation.

The drone has now been sent for a forensic examination to ascertain as to what type of gadgets were put in it avoid radar and other surveillance equipment.

EIGHT SORTIES TO DROP PAYLOAD

Investigations have revealed that Chinese drones with 10kg payloads were used to drop weapons across the border.

The payloads were sent by Pakistan-based Khalistani terror groups between September 9 and 16, officials in security agencies have been quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.

Arrested Khalistani terrorist Akashdeep has confessed that he was in contact with Pakistan-based Khalistani terrorist Ranjeet Singh Neeta. He said Neeta’s number was provided to him by another Khalistani terrorist Gurmeet Singh alias Bagga who lives in Germany.

Gurmeet Singh alias Bagga would share the information about the consignment route with Nita and the place and the time to drop consignments was decided by Akashdeep Singh, sources in the Punjab Police said.

As per sources, the powerful drone weighs nearly 10 kg and is capable of transporting 4kg weight in a single sortie. This implies that the drone was used for a number of sorties and not only carried arms and ammunition but also counterfeit currency and narcotics.

The deliveries were made between September 6 and 16, HT reported. The last drone, however, crashed in a Tarn Taran village.

TERROR MODULE BUSTED

The Punjab Police on Sunday had claimed to have busted a terror module of the Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF), backed by a group based in Pakistan and Germany. It said the terror group was conspiring to unleash a series of strikes in Punjab and adjoining states.

Five AK-47 rifles, 16 magazines and 472 rounds of ammunition, four Chinese-made .30 bore pistols, along with eight magazines and 72 rounds of ammunition; nine hand grenades, five satellite phones with their ancillary equipment, two mobile phones, two wireless sets and fake currency with the face value of Rs 10 lakh were seized.

WHAT HAS CM CAPT AMARINDER SAID?

Following a Punjab Police probe revealing the use of drones to deliver weapons from across the border, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to handle the "drone problem" at the earliest.

Amarinder Singh tweeted, "Recent incidents of Pakistan-origin drones dropping consignments of arms & ammunition is a new and serious dimension on Pakistan's sinister designs in aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370. Request @AmitShah ji to ensure that this drone problem is handled at the earliest".

Recent incidents of Pakistan-origin drones dropping consignments of arms & ammunition is a new and serious dimension on Pakistan's sinister designs in aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370. Request @AmitShah ji to ensure that this drone problem is handled at the earliest.

The Punjab chief minister had on Sunday urged the Centre to alert the Air Force and the Border Security Force about the possibility of drones being used to supply weapons from across the border and also direct them to launch necessary counter-measures.

Punjab Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta had said that the weapons were suspected to have been delivered recently from across the border by the ISI, state-sponsored jihadi and pro-Khalistani terrorist outfits working under its command.

https://www(dot)indiatoday.in/india/story/kalyan-singh-babri-masjid-demolition-case-1603903-2019-09-27

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shoobe01 posted:

IS drone drops one of those semi-improvised grenade rounds on an ISF HMMWV, with a very large secondary explosion.

 

What does semi-improvised mean?

Is it a State Sponsored and type standardized with shipping documentation?  No?  = "Improvised".

The VC/NVA as well as IRA had a robust improvised munition system with variations & product improvement.  But still IMPROVISED.

Weaponization of smarter flying/loitering munitions is a big business opportunity. (@No One In Particular) I despise the phrase "Suicide Drone".  What about a JAVELIN?  AIM-120? Are these Suicide Flying Munitions?

No!  Its only SUICIDE if a person operating it is killed while functioning it.  Media...

There are some pretty nifty loitering munitions that many country's are R&D'ing as well as producing!!!

Agree on suicide drone. Never use that. If it goes direct to target: guided missile. If it hangs out first, then chooses targets, etc it's a loitering munition. P.S. Engineers or PMs deciding that loitering munitions should also have the option of returning home need to be required to program their house into the "drone" as a recovery location. Then, maybe, I'd trust it.  

I made up semi-improvised. Hate me for it, but I believe the differentiation is needed because these munitions are almost always: 

  • Many of the boomy bits are repurposed 40mm grenades, 60mm mortar etc. This part is sometimes modified, always wrapped in some other case with fins, but the core is unequivocally factory stuff. 
  • and/or, created to a regular plan, drawn by engineers, that gets improved by feedback, and are made in an IS factory. Some of them have markings to indicate which factory or... something. They don't share what that means but it's pretty factory made.

If these (even more than things like bamboo-and-nail land mines, etc) are still to be called improvised then we need a different word for things done with pliers and scrap materials in a mud hut. These are very different and it's not just semantics, but speaks to important differences in supply chains and the operational or strategic level of the fight, if not the tactical capabilities. 

(There's ALSO some indication that some munitions, or parts, may be made to order in third countries, and smuggled in. This changes the discussion again.)

Shoobe,

We started to categorize UAS munitions into four categories that may help with your terminology. You are correct with supply chain and things done in a mud hut.  The four categories are: Pure Conventional Munition, Improvised Conventional Munition, Pure Improvised Munition, Purpose Built Munition (Ex: bamboo and nails in a sUAS weapon payload would fall under Pure Improvised Munition).

We also look at the attack method - Dropped, Delivered, or Explosive Laden.

Dropped = MZD-2, ADIM, MGBU, etc.

Delivered = ATGMs, Gun platforms like the Tikad gimbal, or the RPG-22.

Explosive Laden = Qasef-2, Harop, Rotem, Rasid, (covers loitering, impact, air-burst, etc.)

Hopefully, the terminology will catch up to the devices soon. Problem is that everyone wants to take UAS's as their particular hot topic (like IED's back in the day) and come up with their own terminology.

 

Iran surprisingly has been caught supply parts like fins etc to help modify munitions to be better deployed via drones. Interestingly the guided missile/suicide drones are usually RC airplanes and helicopter drones are rarely used in the same fashion. Not sure if it’s a cost vs TTP issue. My only hope is that they don’t figure out how to accomplish swarming capabilities that would be a FML moment. 

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