As if anti-aircraft missiles and guns aren't, helicopters have begun to face a new threat: the anti-helicopter mine.
No, these are not regular land mines buried in the ground, waiting for an unwary chopper to touch down. They're actually sophisticated, radar-controlled air defense weapons that have developed by several nations, notably Russia and Bulgaria.
And now the U.S. Army is worried enough about them that it wants some kind of countermeasure. In a new research proposal, titled "Anti-Helicopter Mine and Improvised Explosive Device Countermeasures," the Army compares the threat faced by helicopters to those faced by foot soldiers and vehicles from IEDs. Just as buried explosives spurred the U.S. military to develop counter-IED technology, such as jammers that neutralize the radio links that control the devices, now the Army wants something similar to disable anti-helicopter mines as well as regular IEDs used in an anti-helicopter role.