The USS Boxer recently took down an Iranian drone in the strait of Hormuz and utilized a technology that had previously gone untested by the department of defense. This engagement served as a ‘baptism of fire’ for the technology named MADIS (Marine Air Defense Integrated System). The system is an anti-drone technology that the military has adapted for use over the sea. It functions by setting up signal blockers to interrupt communication with the drone’s base and force it to crash in confusion.
While the US Military hasn’t yet confirmed or denied what it used against the drone, multiple media sources report that MADIS was present onboard the USS Boxer. Military technology is an ever-evolving race that pits machines against each other to ensure lives are preserved. Typically, new technology like MADIS takes years, even as much as a decade to develop. The US Military took a series of related systems and tied them together to work as a single system, allowing for rapid development. The hope is that the system will remain updated by regular software patches to keep abreast of current and future drone technology.
Deployment and Usage
The MADIS assembly can exist on top of a vehicle allowing easy transport to areas of action. The software on the rig enables the system to identify a drone as a friend or a foe. If detected as a potential enemy, MADIS can force the drone to ground itself through a lack of communication with its handler. There are armed versions of MADIS that allow for the drone to fire at oncoming enemies as well, potentially destroying the drone in the process.
It is unclear as to how the US government intends MADIS for long-term use. However, the deployment of anti-drone technology suggests that the US is considering non-destructive interaction with Iran’s military hardware. The less aggressive methodology may allow them to capture enemy technology as opposed to destroying it. Last month, the US military’s Cyber Command arm along with Central Command in the Middle East launched coordinated cyber-attacks against the Iranian intelligence group’s computers that have access to the management of missile and rocket launches.