Three attack drones approached the US At Tanf Garrison in Syria on 20 January according to a report by US Central Command. Two of the drones were shot down by Coalition Forces while one struck the compound, injuring two members of the Syrian Free Army partner force who received medical treatment. No US forces were injured.
“Attacks of this kind are unacceptable – they place our troops and our partners at risk and jeopardize the fight against ISIS,” said Joe Buccino CENTCOM spokesperson.
According to Air & Space Forces magazine, the two drones were shot down by a ground-based Coyote air defence system. “The counter drone system developed by Raytheon Technologies is a tube-launched unmanned aerial vehicle that could be deployed from the ground, air, or a ship” first selected by the US Army in 2018 for near-term counter UAS. “The air defense version of the system uses a Coyote equipped with a seeker and warhead to intercept drones. In 2022, Raytheon and the US Army said the Coyotes successfully destroyed mock enemy drones during 2021 testing at the Army’s Yuma Proving Ground.
“Facing increased threat from Iranian-made drones in the hands of rebel groups, CENTCOM has been seeking enhanced counter-UAS weapons for some time. U.S. forces have countered drones in the region with air-to-air missiles, Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) rapid-fire anti-air guns. The Coyote augments air defenses with a small, moveable anti-drone capability that behaves like a short-range surface-to-air missile system,” says Air & Space Forces.
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