War in the Middle East, from an American perspective is a tricky specimen. The majority of the people want a stop to the fighting, sickened by the constant trepidation of an impending attack or worry that our sons and daughters will be dragged into a meaningless war. War is hell, a living hell at that, but throughout history it seems to be a necessary evil to protect interests abroad. The majority of Americans want the war to end, but there are a small percentage of people that want to continue the engagement for one reason or another. It is a fact that IEDs have been the key killer of American soldiers and our Allies in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to Army Lieutenant Michael Barbero, director of the Pentagon’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization said, “In the last two years, IED events have increased 42% from 9,300 events in 2009to about 16,000 events in 2011, and 2011 had our highest annual number of IED events ever.” The United States since 2012 has spent upwards of $50 billion to produce IED protection systems, robots, and armored vehicles to bring IED attacks and casualties down.
Sensors that detect IEDs must operate in an environment where there are a lot of radio frequency interferences. Most sensors pick up signals rapidly quick and provide adequate warning of an impending attack. One of the new sensors that has been inserted into the American military, and presumably one of the new devices created from the $50 billion budget, is a highly sensitive sensor, unattended at ground levels providing tactical intelligence and even early warning, making previous models obsolete.
Counter IED Reconnaissance Planes
Detecting and sending ample warning time from IED attacks is not just a land job for unmanned devices, but even planes, drones, and other aircrafts are being used to do the same job but from a safe distance in the sky. These aircraft carriers are manned reconnaissance aircrafts that use an array of synthetic aperture radar, full motion video and infra-red scans to detect IED’s. Once these planes find such IEDs the information is sent to the nearest base, vehicle or individual using an antenna that can receive its signals. This is quite spectacular, and we are now witnessing the benefits of using military antennas to our advantage while menacing the opposition.
A portable, handheld or worn device can detect buried IEDs from a significant distance, and remarkably so you don’t have to be near the explosive for it to pick up its scent. These detectors can find IEDs from miles away, they are ultra-sensitive and their programs can be manipulated to cater to the needs of the user. These are not metal detectors you see people walk on the beach with these are very sophisticated and very sensitive.
New armored vehicles in the Middle East issued in 2013 are equipped with a new and sophisticated radar system that tracks incoming warheads, it feeds information to a computerized gun that shoots a small burst of projectiles to destroy the IED saving lives and preventing an attack.