Russian anti-drone patent details defense UAV with built-in shotgun

While some countries experiment with eagles, drones that launch nets, and signal disruptors, Russia is taking a different approach to dealing with unwanted drones: shotguns. A state-owned Russian weapons company called Almaz-Antey was recently issued a patent for an unmanned aerial vehicle that features a stabilized shotgun for shooting down drones.

The drone exists as a physical product that was demonstrated successfully on video last year. Based on existing articles on Russian websites, it seems the defense technology spent a few years in development, initially starting out as a student project before ultimately surfacing recently in a patent for a major defense contractor.

The drone is designed to take down other drones by literally shooting them out of the sky using its own built-in shotgun, a Vepr-12. The firearm is stabilized to increase accuracy; the shot is made by the drone's operator, though it's unclear whether there's a camera and first-person-view involved in this system.

A number of technologies have been tested as potential anti-drone solutions. As drones become increasingly popular and inexpensive, a growing number of the aerial devices have appeared overheard, some in places they shouldn't be. Drones have been used for spying purposes, as well as vehicles for smuggling products into prisons and disrupting airports.

No government has identified a perfect solution to their drone problems, though we've seen many systems tested. Past concepts and demonstrations have included shooting lasers and nets at drones, jamming their signals so they lose contact with their operator, and launching trained eagles at the devices.