[3/19/17] U.S. Air Force security forces, as well as other military personnel and federal law enforcement agencies, may soon be getting a new tool to take down small commercial drones: shotgun shells with a net. The special cartridge is just one system the Pentagon has been looking at to manage the growing threat from small and readily available quad-and hex-copter-type unmanned aircraft.
On Jan. 31, 2017, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) announced plans to buy and evaluate 600 12 gauge SkyNet Mi-5 shells from AMTEC Less Lethal Systems (ALS). If the Air Force was happy with the tests’ results, the service would have the option of buying another 6,400 rounds.
According to a so-called ”justification and approval” document, the Pentagon’s Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell (JRAC) put the urgent request together in response to the potential danger the certain small flying machines posed “vital national security assets,” a phrase that commonly refers to nuclear weapons and their delivery systems. Government censors removed mention of the specific command that asked for the gear and its area of responsibility.
Any federal agency has to submit one of these formal justifications for any contract it wishes to award “sole source” to a specific company without a long and drawn out competition. AFLCMC subsequently took over the actual purchase process.