The US Army’s Deadly Anti-Drone Tech

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In September 2023, the US Army showcased its counter-drone weaponized shipping containers, which are portable, rugged, and are ideal for providing impromptu defense against drones in remote locations.

Designed and built by the Invariant Corporation and HDT Global, the containers are armed with four-round rocket launchers equipped with laser-guided 70 mm rockets and detection systems.

The released images show only a part of the more extensive counter-drone weapon system, more specifically the Arnold Defense LAND-LGR4 rocket launcher that is mounted on a modified Commonly Remotely Operated Weapon Station II (CROWS II). The system is armed with Laser-guided Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS II) rockets.

According to Interesting Engineering, the CROWS II has an extra sensor or system installed to either track enemy drones or mark them with a laser to guide rockets toward them, and the remotely operated weapon station already incorporates its own electro-optical and infrared cameras.

The CROWS II/LAND-LGR4 launcher setup is mounted on a containerized base system with the fitting name “Containerized Weapon System” (CWS), which consists of a modified 3-meter ISO shipping container. Each container has a hinged roof that can be raised and lowered as required, allowing the platform with the CROWS II on top to “pop out” or be stowed as needed, a feature that allows personnel to reload the weapons, conduct repairs, and otherwise interact with them from within the protection provided by the container’s walls.

According to the US Army, the CWS can be set up by two soldiers in approximately 30 minutes. The system has an electric mast that can go from hidden to a height of 4.5 meters in 30 seconds. The system therefore can be equipped with various weaponry, including an M2, MK19, M240, M249, M134, and even a Javelin missile that provides 360 degrees of protection.