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This is a really good thread on how to defend against drones and missiles.

There are, however, a couple of comments I would like to make to emphasize some of the challenges but also highlight some more capabilities and systems we have.
First of all, there are significantly more systems, that can defend against cruise missiles, than @DuitsyWasHere includes in his thread. A couple of examples below, but that's probably not even a complete list since I am only including missile based interceptors.
@DuitsyWasHere Patriot has been discussed frequently and that system, obviously has capability to defend against cruise missiles. Now, @luke_j_obrien has written som excellent threads on the fact, that Patriot includes different interceptors, some of which are better than other.
Then, there's MEADS (or TLVS as it will be named in Germany), which was developed to replace Patriot, but never fielded in the US.
It leverages the PAC-3 MSE interceptor, which can also be part of the Patriot System.
For ship-self-defense against anti-ship cruise missiles, many ship use the Evolved Sea Sparrow (ESSM) missile. A new block 2 variant is being developed.
For medium to range area defense against cruise missiles, the SM-2 missile is another option. The SM-2 missile, however, will struggle against the most advanced cruise missile threats today.
The most advanced, and longest range missile available for ship-based cruise missile defense today, is the SM-6 missile, which has very long range and outstanding capabilities against cruise missiles, including beyond-line-of-sight engagements.
Another missile is the ASTER family (15 and 30) that can be fired from land (SAMP/T) and sea (PAAMS).
As I wrote above, all of these systems/interceptors have capabilities against cruise missiles (and other threats), but all of that doesn't matter, if the threat cannot be detected.
The requirements for a sensor system-of-systems in a network, is a very different thread.
Drones are a very different challenge, and it's a two-fold challenge:
1) Detecting the drone and
2) Engaging the drone.

It's important to realize that these two different types (size) of drones pose two VERY different set of challenges.
When discussing drone defense, it's important to recognize the difference between the various types and drones and the challenges they pose in detection and engagement.

The larger drones can be countered with the same types of systems that are used for normal air defense.
The smaller drones are the big challenges, so I will focus on them.

First of all, detection is a challenge, because the radar return from small drones are often hard to distinguish from noise e.g. birds, leaves on trees, ground clutter etc.
Therefore, before drones became an issue, many radars were tuned and optimized to suppress that kind of signal, which is why many legacy radars cannot detect small drones.
They simply confuse the return signal from the drones with noise and doesn't recognize it as a track.
Several current radars (e.g. the USN SPY-1) are being reprogrammed to no longer suppress those signals as noise, meaning they get the ability to detect the drones.
New radars, with drone detection capabilities, are tuned to recognize drone signatures.
This however, is easier than it sounds: The more noise level signals you allow to be recognized as a track, the more false tracks you will get.

THAT is the main challenge with drone detection today: Getting the balance between detecting drones without false tracks optimized.
Whenever I talk to a company that builds radar detection drones, my first question is always: "So you detect drones, and what else i.e. false trackes, e.g. birds etc.?"

Small drone detection is a lot harder than it sounds!
Once you detect the small drones, you need to engage them, which poses a new challenge:

Many interceptors are really expensive and drones are very cheap, so the cost-per-kill is very high.

Guns, lasers and directed energy are the most economically sound weapons for this mission
As always, with my threads, there are many rabbit holes of infinite details that e can get into, but I hope this gives some idea of additional systems that can defend against cruise missiles and why drones (small) are so challenging.
This thread should have retweeted this thread by @DuitsyWasHere, but something went wrong in the quote 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️

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