How drone attacks reveal fixable flaws with American air defenses
The attacks on the oil facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais in Saudi Arabia are neon flashing warning signs of the threat presented by the proliferation of low flying precision guided weapons like drones and cruise missiles. These attacks were highly successful, despite the apparent presence of air defenses. This illustrates two vulnerabilities in the United States air defense system, gaps that also endanger American and allied troops and military facilities. The United States must learn from what happened and prioritize projects to field effective counters to these weapons. Imperative to any solution are sensors that can detect and classify low flying objects with adequate lead time to take action. These include elevated sensors and 360 degree capability for all United States air defense systems.