US Military Reportedly Not Ready For Low-Tech War

 February 25, 2024

The battlegrounds are evolving. The U.S. military, alongside its allies, faces challenges from low-cost yet highly effective drone technology, compelling a significant reevaluation of defense strategies.

In recent conflicts, notably the ongoing war in Ukraine, drones costing as little as $500 have demonstrated their capability to undermine and even neutralize multimillion-dollar military assets. This phenomenon has not only highlighted the growing importance of adaptable and affordable countermeasures but also signaled a paradigm shift in modern warfare strategies.

Drone expert and former Army intelligence and special operations soldier Brett Velicovich has shed light on this emerging trend. He pointed out the stark contrast in costs and effectiveness between traditional military technology and these newer entrants. The effectiveness of inexpensive drones against formidable military assets like Russian tanks, ships, and bases has been particularly evident since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, MSN reported.

One notable instance involved a drone, akin to a jet ski, sinking one of Russia's top navy ships in the Black Sea. The cost of this drone likely did not exceed a few thousand dollars, yet it achieved what could otherwise require a significantly more expensive military operation.

Defense strategies pivot toward affordable solutions

The incident with the USS Gravely destroyer underscored the immediate threats posed by such technology. After defending itself against a missile launched by Houthi militants using its close-in weapon system, the U.S. responded by conducting "self-defense strikes" on Houthi targets in Yemen. This response highlighted the imminence and seriousness of drone and missile threats, particularly from non-state actors who now have access to such technology.

Brett Velicovich offered a poignant reflection on this matter, "The war in Ukraine is a perfect example of how multimillion-dollar military technology is going to be rendered obsolete by $500 drones. One of Russia's top navy ships in the Black Sea was destroyed by what was essentially a jet ski-esque drone that probably cost no more than a couple thousand dollars to build."

This situation underscores a critical vulnerability and sparks an urgent reevaluation of defensive priorities. The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM)'s identification of anti-ship cruise missiles and unmanned vessels as imminent threats further emphasizes the pressing need for efficient countermeasures.

Innovations in counter-drone capabilities highlight defense industry shift

The financial implications cannot be overlooked. While a drone attack on the U.S. Tower 22 base in Jordan resulted in tragic casualties, it also underscored the cost-effectiveness of drone warfare. With the Navy's Standard Missile family costing up to $36 million per round, the economic disparity in modern warfare becomes stark.

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, William LaPlante voiced the severity of the situation at a defense conference. He declared the necessity for anti-drone capabilities as not just urgent, but a "crisis". The Army's move to purchase more counter-drone defenses, as demonstrated by a $75 million contract for 600 Coyote 2Cs, is a testament to the rapid realignment of defense strategies towards affordability and adaptability.

The proliferation of drone technology has indeed altered the dynamics of modern warfare. Brett Velicovich's perspective illuminates the path forward for defense strategies. "It used to be if you bought a drone, it would cost millions of dollars … only nation-states could afford them, only nation-states could understand the technology. The future of warfare is going to be in AI, it's going to be in [vehicles], water, land, air and sea, small, low-cost drones. That has to be in the toolkit of our defense industry, not simply just billion-dollar fighter aircraft."


The involvement of inexpensive drones in recent conflicts marks a turning point in military and defense strategies. The case of the U.S. military and its allies reevaluating their approaches to include more affordable and adaptive countermeasures against drone threats is indicative of the broader implications of these low-cost technologies.

With experts like Brett Velicovich highlighting the effectiveness of drones in comparison to traditional, more expensive military assets, and officials like William LaPlante declaring a crisis in the need for anti-drone capabilities, the urgency and significance of the shift toward innovative defense measures are clear.

The ongoing war in Ukraine serves as a poignant example of this dynamic, demonstrating both the challenges and opportunities presented by the rise of drone technology in modern warfare.

Most Recent Stories

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One comment on “US Military Reportedly Not Ready For Low-Tech War”

Copyright 2024, Thin Line News LLC