The United States is planning to sell US$6.4 billion in arms, including Black Hawk helicopters, Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles, mine hunter ships and information technology, to Taiwan, a move that will infuriate China and test whether President Barack Obama's efforts to improve trust with Beijing will carry the countries through a tense time.
A USA ally reportedly has used a $3 million worth Patriot missile to shoot down a $200 worth drone aircraft.
Perkins' talk during the symposium focused on the complexity of a military organization in the field, and how the interconnected nature of air, ground, and sea forces can lead to a fragmented response to a threat between the commanders who are in charge of specific areas.
He made the revelation while addressing the Association of the US Army's Global Force symposium in the US state of Alabama. That quadcopter that cost $200 from Amazon.com did not stand a chance against a Patriot. On the contrary, this is a story about the military shooting down a drone with a $3 million Patriot Missile System.
He didn't name the "very close ally" or where the incident took place.
Radar-guided Patriots are meant to intercept other missiles, which would theoretically make them suitable for small, nimble targets like drones.
As Perkins noted, the disparity between the price of the Patriot and the price of the drone calls the overall wisdom of the tactic into question.
"I'm not sure that's a good economic exchange ratio", he added.
"In fact, if I'm the enemy, I'm thinking, "Hey, I'm just gonna get on eBay and buy as many of these $300 quadcopters as I can and expend all the Patriot missiles out there".
Thirteen countries now have Patriot air-defense systems, according to Jane's.
Some groups have reportedly started converting commercial drones into bombers to fight security forces.
Describing small unmanned aerial vehicles as a commander's problem rather than an air defense problem, Perkins suggested alternative methods for tackling enemy drones such as electronic warfare and cyber measures, according to the CNET report.