This video shows how difficult shooting down a small UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) can be.
Along with larger UAVs, armed forces around the world also employ several types of smaller remotely piloted planes. Such drones are used for a wide variety of tactical missions, including battlefield surveillance and targeting.
This video shows that, given to skilled pilots, these tiny planes can be extremely difficult to hit, even for some trained shooters, thus explaining why they are used in combat quite often.
Filmed during a shooting event at Big Sandy range, in Arizona, the footage shows several MGs shooting at a small drone flying back and forth along a 1/4 mile firing line at day and night.
“I’m sure to those who have never shot a machine gun outside of Call of Duty, it looks like it would be easy to shoot these down,” says the uploader in the about section of the Youtube video. “The vital components of the plane like the engine, battery, receiver, fuel tank, etc. are very small. The main body of the plane is pretty tough and can take numerous hits without affecting it.”
Hence, unless you have plenty of ammo, skilled shooters and patience, such small drones flying over your position can be extremely difficult to shoot down.
In the last few days, two low-cost, low-tech drones launched from North Korea crashed on South Korea’s territory. Last week North Korea fired about 100 shells across the Northern Limit Line. Seoul responded to the provocation by dispatching F-15Ks carrying SLAM-ER missiles.
Although South Korea’s Armed Forces did not attack North Korean artillery units that had shelled Southern territory (reportedly because the shells did not fall onto Seoul’s land), South Korean air force’s F-15K Slam Eagles, carrying SLAM-ER (Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response) missiles were ready to strike Pyongyang forces.
According to the JoongAng Ilbo, at least an F-15K carrying the hi-tech, 1.8 million USD stand-off missile was scrambled following the attack.
With a range of 270 kilometers (170 miles), a SLAM-ER fired from within South Korea’s airspace can cover the entire territory of North Korea, hitting any designated ground target.
Therefore, had the Pyongyang’s shells hit South Korea instead of landing in the water, ROKAF planes would have been ordered to attack several military commands in North Korea, including those units suspected to have shelled South’s forefront islands.
Military sources told the JoongAng Ilbo that coordinates of the selected targets (including the Supreme Command chaired by Kim Jong Un) had been collected through satellite images, wiretapping, North Korean defectors and good, old-fashioned HUMINT.
Obviously, not all targets would be attacked with SLAM-ER: F-15Ks (that have recently taken part in Red Flag exercises in both Nellis Air Force Base and Alaska), can carry a wide variety of bombs, including the 5,000-lb “Bunker Buster” GBU-28.