Drones are being used for an ever-increasing range of illicit activities including carrying payloads that could be used for reconnaissance and armed attacks, both within and outside military conflict zones. There is now significant growth in the use of commercial drones for destructive purposes, and such drone activities have severe humanitarian repercussions for civilians.
According to research, in 2019 there are around six hundred thousand uncontrolled drones of all sizes and capabilities in India, all with the potential to be exploited by extremist or criminal entities to carry out illegal activities.
This has highlighted the critical importance for nations to invest in anti-drone radar capability as drone threats proliferate globally and evolve. India has been working hard to acquire anti-drone technology and recent reports indicate that the Indian Air Force is now inviting responses from domestic and international suppliers for counter-drone systems for the Indian Security Forces. But in the current rapidly evolving threat environment where small commercially available drones are being used to carry small payloads, there are challenges which need to be addressed when selecting such a system.
Small drones have a relatively small radar signature and are difficult to detect. They are easily available, low cost and there is no control over their proliferation. And they can be readily modified and adapted for disruptive and illicit activities. Accurate and rapid drone detection, identification and classification are key capabilities in any counter-drone system.
Anti-drone radar detection solutions work most effectively when they are correctly designed, implemented, and integrated with the security response capability of the facility being protected. Their capacity to deal with multiple simultaneous or overlapping incidents in different parts of the facility, and the effectiveness of systems classifying the threat, so that the appropriate response can be deployed in time to be of benefit are critical design considerations.
There are at least as many (if not more) nefarious uses for drone technology as there are legitimate and lawful applications, and in many instances the behaviours typical of illicit use will be indistinguishable from those typical of benign use. This makes the challenge of classifying ‘good’ and ‘rogue’ drones more complex, raising the potential for erroneous and defamatory accusations against lawful and legitimate drone operators.
Multi-mode radars provide one of the most effective solutions for border security and drone detection. They offer a reliable and affordable way to cover the large areas, scanning air, land and water simultaneously and detecting small and slow threats in each domain alongside traditional threats, including drones. They operate at long range and in all visibility conditions, detecting targets near to the ground and in cluttered environments such as in towns or around airports and military bases.
Improvements are continually being made in anti-drone radar technologies so that they are more sensitive and able to distinguish with increasing accuracy, drone activities from other non-threatening operations. Together with the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning, this reduces false alarm rates by applying typical threat data and using this to build a much more capable and intelligent incident response solution.
The entire drone and anti-drone sector is only in its earliest of stages, and there are going to be many changes in the next few years as technology evolves, as legislation matures and as the fundamental commercial drivers that need to underpin the businesses that exploit this technology continue to be tested in the real world.
Sales of civil drones are on a constant rise. Over 10 million drones were sold for civil applications in 2016 alone. Predictions suggest a remarkable trend with sales reaching six times more deliveries by 2021. Possibilities to use such a cheap system with bad intent, to smuggle contraband into prisons, spy on competitors, misuse it for a terroristic attack or simply disturb air traffic on a major airport out of carelessness of the user seem to be endless. Therefore, Rheinmetall Air Defence, building the center of competence for drone defence, offers a modular toolbox which contains a possible solution for all budget sizes to counter this rising threat.
Military and civil threat scenarios continuously merge into one another and are especially in drone defence valid for both. Rheinmetall with its long history of military very short and short range air defence solutions offers various counter measurements according to a simple, modular scheme of competences “Sense – Decide – Act.”
Blighter A800 is a 3D multi-mode radar
The Blighter A800 is a 3D multi-mode radar, based on the latest generation monopulse antenna technology. It provides the unique ability to use its optimised air security modes to search for small drones, and at the same time, can use its ground/sea surveillance modes to search for surface targets over land and water.
The A800 performs its air, ground and sea detection functions simultaneously, allowing multi-mode operation with simple user setup. The A800 multi-mode radar uses triple, transmit and receive, radar-beam spotlighting to focus all its energy on targets of interest. The radar ignores ground clutter and off-beam targets, giving rapid scanning of a 90° wide by 40° high cone. The A800 inherits its core technology from Blighter’s TRL-9 (technology readiness level nine) field-proven A400 series air security radars. However, the A800 combines the ability to detect land and water-based objects, which of course may include the drone operator. In addition, the A800 reports that targets are either: surface, flying or high-flying.
Countering Low, Slow and Small (LSS) Threats
The A800 acts as the key detect element in C-UAS (counter-unmanned aerial system) products. It is designed to counter current low, slow and small (LSS) threats caused by the mis-use of commercial ‘hobby’ drones. (Including the commonly used ‘DJI Phantom’ style quadcopters.) To further enhance system performance, the A800 features smart micro-Doppler target filtering with AI target classification. This reduces false alarms from wildlife and helps improve the detection of multicopter and winged drones.
Ruggedised and Secure
The A800’s rugged e-scan design with zero moving parts, allows it to operate in harsh conditions of high or low temp. It comes with mounting options for:
* Tripods and quad-pods
* Land vehicles and trailers
* Fixed towers and masts
For use in critical security projects, the radar is fitted with dual Gigabit Ethernet interfaces with built-in robust data encryption. A software developer’s kit (SDK) is available for download. The SDK allows system integrators to quickly upgrade their existing wide area perimeter security and C-UAS systems. Such systems can then make full use of the A800 radar’s advanced long-range detection features. The A800 connects with the leading industry standard PSIM (physical security information management) platforms and defence C2 (command & control) systems.
Blighter Surveillance A422 drone detection deployable radar system.
Blighter Surveillance introduces A422 drone detection deployable radar system. Blighter Surveillance System’s latest A422 radar system is a fully integrated off-the-shelf drone detection and ground surveillance system, says the company. It is designed to detect drones in congested urban environments and operates in day and night conditions. The technology can detect, locate and recognise unmanned aerial systems (UAS). It is deployed using a simple modular mast, requires low power consumption with mains and battery power options. User-defined geographic alert zones allow unattended monitoring in conjunction with target displays with a background map.
The new radar comes with mast mounting hardware, system cabling, mains power supply and a rugged laptop for remote system operation via a wired network connection.
The system is designed for rapid deployment from Peli-style transit cases and can be used for:
* Urban battlefield reconnaissance
- Remote border surveillance
- Camp protection
- Other covert operations
The A422 deployable radar system covers a horizontal azimuth scan sector of 180°. For 360° surveillance a dual-A422 back-to-back configuration can be used. The radar uses Blighter’s W20S antennas which give a wide vertical elevation coverage up to 30°.
Blighter’s x400 series radars are already deployed along the DMZ for South Korean forces.
“Echodyne serves customers across the defense, national security, and critical infrastructure protection markets worldwide. Its radars are a core component for counter-UAS, border security, and base and perimeter 3D surveillance solutions. The company designs and delivers high-performance compact, solid-state, patent-protected metamaterials ESA technology. Ideally suited for defense, security, machine perception, and autonomy, Echodyne’s commercially priced electronically scanned array radars are used by defense and government agencies, autonomous developers, and security integrators for counter-UAS, borders and perimeter security, critical infrastructure protection, unmanned aerial vehicles, and autonomous vehicles.” Eben Frankenberg, Echodyne CEO said.
Privately held, the company is based in Kirkland, Washington, and is backed by Bill Gates, NEA, Madrona Venture Group, Vulcan Capital, Vanedge Capital, and Lux Capital among others. For more information, please visit: Echodyne.com.
On October 12th 2021, Echodyne, the radar platform company, announced the newest addition to its market-leading portfolio of radars – EchoShield. Designed from the ground-up to set a new price-performance standard for mid-range radars, EchoShield is an advanced software-defined multi-mission radar for a wide variety of commercial, defense, and government use cases.
EchoShield’s development has been informed by hundreds of customers and applications across multiple industries. The radar’s architecture builds upon the field-proven success of Echodyne’s proprietary metamaterials electronically scanned array (MESA®) radars that are in use across a wide range of applications, such as counter-UAS, border and base security, force protection, critical infrastructure security, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, UAV detect and avoid, and autonomous ground vehicles.
A pulse-Doppler cognitive 4D radar, EchoShield combines ultra-precise electronically scanned array (ESA) beamforming and real-time dynamic waveform synthesis to deliver sub-degree tracking accuracy on hundreds of objects across a broad 3D field of view. EchoShield’s cognitive search capabilities integrate onboard or offboard data stores to adapt and direct radar resources when and where required in order to deliver the right data and detail at the right time. Whether using the radar’s significant onboard processing capabilities or ingesting data-rich range-doppler spectrograms into offboard compute, EchoShield’s SDK enables deep integration and multi-sensor fusion.
EchoShield is designed to be software-optimized to mission profiles that align powerful dynamic radar resources with unique customer requirements to deliver superior radar performance. Based on market demand, the initial software release prioritizes a counter-UAS mission and excels at detecting, tracking, and classifying any uncrewed aircraft, including low slow and small drones even in dense urban environments. Further releases will match radar resources with customer demand in dozens of applications and markets.
“Radar is a fundamental sensor for a wide range of commercial and government applications, but achieving high performance at reasonable cost, size, weight and power (C-SwaP) has always been a challenge,” said Eben Frankenberg, CEO of Echodyne. “Our customers have challenged us with certain radar performance attributes and EchoShield has been designed to meet these demanding requirements. Our customers are lining up for first units and already discussing production volume, so we’re very pleased with the market reception.”
EchoShield operates in the Ku band, with RadioLocation service at 15.7-16.6 GHz and
RadioNavigation at 15.4-15.7 GHz, and is commercially exportable to many countries under US EAR regulations. Its features include:
*130° azimuth x 90° elevation field of regard (fully customizable)
*0.5° tracking accuracy in azimuth and elevation, with very low track splitting/dropping
*Powerful UAV classification with low false-alarms and near-zero false-negatives
*Cognitive search capabilities integrate onboard or offboard data
Average tracking ranges for counter-UAS mission:
*Group 1 (-20 to -10 dBsm): 2.7 to 4.8 km
*Group 2 (-10 to -5 dBsm): 4.8 to 6.4 km
*Group 3 (-5 to 5 dBsm): 6.4 to 11.4 km
“Our breakthrough Metamaterial-ESA technology unlocks a level of beamforming previously only available with large ultra-expensive AESA’s with hundreds of channels,” said Tom Driscoll, CTO of Echodyne. “EchoShield combines this precise beamforming with modern fully-adaptive cognitive-radar approaches and intelligent control software, and the result is a radar with best-in-class detection, tracking, and classification performance.”
Echodyne and Northrop Grumman Expand Partnership on Defense and Security Applications
On 17 February 17th 2022, Echodyne, announced a new strategic agreement with, and minority investment from, Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) that expands upon existing efforts to integrate Echodyne radars into select Northrop Grumman advanced defense and security solutions. The initial collaboration area is focused on counter-UAS, where Echodyne’s radars offer performance and SwaP advantages that are expected to bring immediate mission value. Under the scope of the Agreement, the companies will work to identify additional applications for Echodyne’s line of commercially developed radars.
“We continue to embrace disruptive technologies that enhance our solutions and are easily integrated into our open architecture approaches,” said David Jacobs, vice president strategy at Northrop Grumman. “This strategic partnership enhances our ability to meet the mission needs of our customers with speed and agility, specifically in the area of C-UAS.” The companies began collaborating in early 2020 when they integrated Echodyne’s radar onto Northrop Grumman’s Bushmaster® Gun Truck, a lightweight strike vehicle ideal for air defense operations. The combined technology solution has proven its performance against small drones in numerous live-fire demonstrations and offers Northrop Grumman’s domestic and international partners a reliable and economical answer to this increasing air defense threat. This agreement expands upon that success and focuses on new opportunities to integrate Echodyne’s commercially priced radars into Northrop Grumman’s advanced platforms and solutions.”
“The collaboration with Northrop Grumman is another significant milestone for Echodyne, which underlines the clear message that our radars excel in the most challenging applications and demanding environments,” said Eben Frankenberg, CEO of Echodyne. “Northrop Grumman’s investment and selection of our radars for counter-UAS solutions further validates the advantages of our proprietary technology and our best-in-class radars.”
SPX Corporation Acquisition Of Enterprise Control Systems
On August 3rd, 2021, SPX Corporation (“SPX”) (NYSE: SPXC) announced that it has completed the acquisition of Enterprise Control Systems Ltd (“ECS”). Headquartered near Northampton, UK, ECS is a leader in the design and manufacture of highly-engineered tactical datalinks and radio frequency (RF) countermeasures, including counter-drone and counter-IED RF jammers.
ECS’s results will be reported as part of SPX’s Communications Technology (“CommTech”) platform within its Detection & Measurement segment. SPX anticipates updating 2021 guidance to reflect ECS when reporting Q2 2021 results on August 5th, and currently anticipates that ECS will contribute annualized revenue in a range of $12 to $14 million. ECS is expected to be accretive to Detection & Measurement segment margin once fully integrated.
“We are excited to welcome ECS to the SPX team,” said Gene Lowe, President and CEO of SPX. “As our first acquisition in our CommTech platform, ECS expands and strengthens SPX’s position in COMINT by adding highly complementary, world-class products and technology. We see significant opportunities to grow our presence in COMINT, and complementary technologies and solutions worldwide. We view ECS’s expertise in encrypted data link systems and RF countermeasures as a perfect fit with the high-value RF monitoring, detect and locate technologies and products of our TCI business.”
Colin Bullock, founder of ECS, commented, “We are very pleased to be part of SPX, as it creates numerous opportunities for employees and customers to continue our growth journey. Combining ECS’s expertise in RF countermeasures and encrypted data links systems with SPX’s strengths in RF detection and location systems, as well as its global infrastructure and resources, is a great opportunity to further advance product development and extend the reach of our combined, high-value solutions to a broader customer base.”
Together, ECS and TCI will provide a more holistic, yet increasingly customer-tailored solution for COMINT and RF countermeasures. Hardware and software integration across offerings from both companies will optimize signals intelligence, paint a clearer battlefield picture and facilitate threat interdiction. One example is counter-drone operations, pairing TCI’s Blackbird for detection and location of drones and controllers with ECS’s Claw for jamming them. These synergistic solutions will provide domestic and allied government agencies enhanced capabilities to deal with the threats posed by asymmetric warfare, non-state actors and near-peer adversaries.
ECS Founder Member of the AUDS C-UAS Consortium
Enterprise Control Systems (ECS) was a founder member of the AUDS C-UAS consortium, so has developed a capability in drone jamming techniques. The AUDS system, already successfully deployed and in 24/7 operations, was developed in 2015 by a consortium of UK defence companies including Blighter Surveillance Systems, Chess Dynamics and ECS. The AUDS system has an intuitive interface, is operable by a single user, and can detect, track, identify and defeat a drone in approximately 15 seconds at a range of up to 10km or six miles.
AUDS is available in three standard configurations – a portable platform for rooftop installation, a rugged field-mast system for forward operating bases or temporary camps, and a fixed system for borders and critical infrastructure sites.
The AUDS system has proved to be highly effective against swarm attacks and has successfully defeated approaching 2,000 drone sorties and been tested against more than 60 types of drone including fixed wing and quadcopters. The team recognise that co-ordinated swarm attacks are increasing – particularly in the military sector – so its engineers have been working on algorithms and techniques improving the AUDS system’s capability to defeat these multi-drone attack scenarios.
“We have continued to refine our advanced RF inhibition capabilities to meet identified changes in the threat, enabling additional attributes designed to engage with some of the longer range fixed winged drones that have appeared over the last 12 months. Our specialist RF engineers have also further fine-tuned some advanced techniques to even more effectively defeat co-ordinated multi-drone swarm attacks made up of mixed drone types approaching in complex mission scenarios.” Paul Taylor of ECS said.
The AUDS system is highly effective against multi-mode swarm attacks due its multi-band radio frequency (RF) inhibitor which can simultaneously target multiple threat ‘bands’ to defeat the command and control (C2) links deployed on UAVs. These C2 links are constantly evolving within the emerging threat landscape and the AUDS RF inhibition system continues to demonstrate its flexibility to rapidly address these changes in response to operational demands.
ECS Claw Directional Inhibitor
The Claw Directional Inhibitor is a self-contained inhibitor system that combines the RF power electronics with a high-gain multi-band directional antenna system The Claw Inhibitor comprises of dual mast-mount units covering the 433MHz, GNSS, 915MHz, 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz ISM frequency bands with RF output powers to the antennas of up to 83w. With an aggregated RF output power to the antenna of up to 150w The Claw system disrupts the control, navigation and telemetry used by UAS and can be customised for end-user requirements.
The Claw System comprises the following: Directional antenna enclosures Two SDR directional inhibitor units Either 2 AC, or 1 DC Power Supply Units.
“The combination of TCI and ECS allows the combined entity to develop systems to command the spectrum to allow the passive location and destruction of every type of drone from the errant user thru the surveillance user to the weaponized drone. We can offer our customers a range of C-UAS systems from passive RF systems thru those with an EO/IR system and radar to allow long-range location and kinetic systems to destroy weaponized drones before they reach their target. We have already identified other acquisition targets to allow SPX to offer a complete C-UAS system from one source.” Jackson White said.
ECS BlackTALON Counter-Drone System
The BlackTALON Counter-Drone System provides detection, location, identification, tracking and RF inhibition of drones. BlackTALON Model 982 incorporates Radar and RF sensors for drone detection, identification, location and tracking; an electro-optical sensor for drone verification and video tracking; and a multi-channel RF inhibitor for drone defeat.
BlackTALON is the result of a technology partnership between TCI International and Enterprise Control Systems (both of SPX Corporation), working together with a number of valued partners with more than 135 years combined experience. This experience in the RF, EO, C2, and Counter-Drone domains for military applications ensures high performance, reliability and availability of the BlackTALON Counter-Drone solution.
The BlackTALON capability is delivered using only fully proven TRL9 systems, proven in combat operations through multiple deployments in hostile territories and the harshest environments.
*Multi-sensor detection and tracking (active and passive)
*Long range, directional multi-band RF inhibition defeat
*Intuitive user interface
*Fully integrated solution
Rheinmetall Unveiled New AMMR
In April 2022 Rheinmetall unveiled its new AMMR: a state-of-the-art radar for C-UAS, SHORAD and VSHORAD applications. Rheinmetall has unveiled the Oerlikon AMMR, the Group’s latest radar system. The Oerlikon AESA Multi-Mission Radar (AMMR) was developed entirely at Rheinmetall Italia in Rome, underscoring once again the subsidiary’s role as Rheinmetall’s radar centre of excellence. The new radar is now ready for series production.
Rheinmetall’s new radar responds to highly challenging current and emerging short- and very short-range aerial threats: the new radar successfully detects and processes mini- and micro-unmanned aerial vehicles; incoming rockets, artillery and mortars engaging in high angle attacks; as well as air/surface weapons and cruise missiles. Thanks to adaptive full digital beamforming techniques in the S-band, Oerlikon AMMR automatically detects, classifies and tracks the full spectrum of aerial threats.
Rheinmetall Italia’s Oerlikon AESA Multi-Mission Radar is a state-of-the-art modular radar offering superior performance and ease of operation as well as integration into a wide range of platforms. It can track and classify multiple threats simultaneously. Oerlikon AMMR is designed to operate in stationary mode or on the move, even under gruelling environmental and jamming conditions. Moreover, it features cutting-edge electronic counter-countermeasures. The radar is fully software defined, with a configuration capable of adapting to the specific operational scenario. It can be easily upgraded in future to keep pace with evolving threat scenarios.
HENSOLDT’s SPEXER Radar
HENSOLDT’s SPEXER radar is extensively used in C-UAS operations. It autonomously differentiates between birds and drones with over 99% accuracy. Once detected, the next step depends on the location and situation. Effective drone countermeasures used above a crowded stadium are clearly going to be different to those used on the battlefield. A thrill seeker flying a cheap drone above a crowded stadium armed with little more than a bag of harmless flour could cause pandemonium if jammer countermeasures resulted in a loss of control. In the stadium vicinity therefore, more sophisticated counter measures are required to safely neutralise the threat. In this case, the miniaturisation of electronics and the increased processing power enable a drone to be despatched that can intercept the intruding drone, deploy a capture net and return with its cargo to safety – all without user intervention. A stadium can be protected by a radar detecting drones at little more than a kilometre whereas on the battlefield, the required detection ranges are much more demanding. Some uses will dictate 360 degree coverage while for others, a single non-rotating flat panel will suffice. Some scenarios only require 2D detection while others demand a 3D picture. To cover the multitude of requirements, we need a family of radars like the HENSOLDT SPEXER range to provide the appropriate performance and coverage and keep within the end users’ budgets. Only a decade or so ago, radars with these capabilities would have been prohibitively expensive but the ever increasing processing power and miniaturisation of components available to designers enables more and more capable radars to be available at a much lower cost.
HENSOLDT UK SPEXER 600 2D AESA Radar – Affordable AESA Technology
New and evolving threats keeping defence planners awake at night are a concern but the technology enabling advances in adversaries’ weapons and systems is also enabling a wave of innovative developments in the West to provide effective counter measures. While the technological gap is not as large as we would like or as large as it was in the past, there remain areas where we continue to offer significant advantages over equipment likely to be fielded by a future foe.
HENSOLDT UK, formerly known as Kelvin Hughes, boasts a long tradition of capable and reliable radars. As part of the HENSOLDT group, the company offers a range of ground-based radars. While the history of radars spans more than 100 years, it is characterised by countless innovations, many of which stem from HENSOLDT. One recent milestone is HENSOLDT’s TwInvis passive radar system mentioned above.
“HENSOLDT offers an impressive portfolio of complementary radar sensors and systems for the Land domain, all of which are fully supportable here in the UK. Based in Enfield, North London, HENSOLDT UK designs and manufactures a number of these radars, as well as providing programme management, system integration and through life support for the entire range. These are exciting times for our business, as HENSOLDT invests further in its UK capabilities in support of a number of MOD programmes.” Rohan Dearlove – Sales Director UK and Ireland.
Kongsberg chose the Hensoldt Spexer radar for its German C-UAS solution.
The German Counter Unmanned Aerial System
* Germany awarded Kongsberg a $27.2 million (250 MNOK) contract to supply a Counter Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) to its armed forces.
* Germany is the first country to acquire a C-UAS solution with the PROTECTOR as a kinetic effector.
* On the sensing side, for CUAS detection, Kongsberg has cooperated closely with Hensoldt and is integrating the Hensoldt Spexer 3rd generation radar within the CUAS system for CUAS detection and tracking.
* On the kinetic effector side, the KONGSBERG PROTECTOR RS4 Remote Weapon Station (RWS) has been selected, utilising a 40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher with programmable airburst ammunition as the main effector.
The USMC Counter Unmanned Aerial System – MADIS
* The US Marine Corps has awarded a contract to Kongsberg Protech Systems USA to deliver remote weapon systems (RWS) as part of their Marine Air Defense Integrated System (MADIS) programme
* The MADIS system deploys separate sensor and effector platforms, as part of their Ground Based Air Defence Capability, which operate together in a Counter Unmanned Aerial System role
* For the MADIS programme, the USMC have selected the KONGSBERG PROTECTOR RS6 Remote Weapon Station (RS6), which incorporates the XM914E1 30x113mm cannon, a co-axial M240 (7.62mm) machine gun and twin Stinger Surface-to-Air missiles
* The MADIS RS6 system will be integrated and deployed on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)
Elettronica Snow Leopard
Elettronica presented the Snow Leopard evolution of its ADRIAN counter-drone system during a recent NATO exercise held in Sestriere northwest Italy. Snow Leopard can be deployed in extreme conditions and used while mobile. These capabilities have been realised through Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques applied to signal process and imagery analysis.
For this specific demonstration, the system was installed on a BV S7 vehicle of the Italian Army. However, the system can be easily installed on other vehicle types, and also be used for the protection of fixed targets.
Based on the operational requirement and concept of use, the counter-drone system uses electro-optical devices and an electronic support measure to detect and locate the drone and its ground control station via its radio signals. This guarantees the identification and classification of drones at sufficient distances to ensure an adequate response time. Elettronica paid particular attention to the system’s user interface which allows Snow Leopard to be used in even the most adverse operating conditions.
“Elettronica has long supported NATO with respect to increasingly challenging operational needs in extreme environments. This has culminated in the Snow Leopard counter-drone system designed for mobile operations and conceived with advanced AI algorithms; a direct result of the company’s considerable investment in research and development.” Says Paolo Izzo, Elettronica’s Chief Sales Officer.
FN Herstal’ sdeFNder®
FN Herstal’s deFNder® Family of Remote Weapon Stations, new C-UAS solution, was recently tested for countering Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) during the NATO Non-Lethal Technology Exercise (NNTEX-C) scheduled from 4 to 24 March at the PISQ in Sardinia, Italy.
The exercise was dedicated to the evaluation of current technologies against Low, Slow and Small (LSS) targets. The different systems were evaluated based on several factors including efficiency, collateral damage and ergonomics.
For this purpose, FN Herstal developed a container-based perimeter defence solution incorporating a range of sensors (RF sensors and radars) with a combination of both soft and hard effectors. The overall system is operated by two operators protected inside the container.
The sensors provide early detection and provide operators and commander with the localization of the detected targets on a 2D situational awareness map. This enhances the mission-critical decision-making process and allows a quick response and tasks allocation.
Regarding the effectors, the setup includes:
- Soft effector: As an escalation of force feature, the setup also includes a smart and scalable signal jammer that can be used as a first response against the UAV to disable the link between the drone and its operator before resorting to live-firing.
- Hard effector:
o One deFNder® Light Remote Weapon Station, which can be fitted with the FN MINIMI® 5.56 or 7.62 or FN MAG® 7.62mm calibre
o One deFNder® Medium, which can be fitted with the FN MAG® 7.62mm, .50 calibre weapons such as the FN® M2HB-QCB or FN® M3R, or a 40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher with airburst capacity.
Once a target is detected, the operators have the capacity to select the threat to initiate the neutralization process. The overall system provides advanced functionalities to assist the operator in threat detection and engagement, including:
- Target tracking based on multiple sensor feedback
- Collateral damage mitigation with ready-to-fire indicators
- Automatic detection through video stream (Day and InfraRed)
- Improved fire control for air targeting
Using FN Herstal’s deFNder® Net technology, the system offers full networking capability for information distribution and sharing from every sensor to any operator, to own and external C2 systems.
In conclusion, the FN Herstal perimeter defence system aims to give an increased situational awareness while providing a safe environment for the crew.
Teledyne FLIR Defense Launches New Lightweight Vehicle Surveillance System
Teledyne FLIR Defense, part of Teledyne Technologies Incorporated (NYSE:TDY), announced the launch in April 2022, of a new Lightweight Vehicle Surveillance System (LVSS) with revolutionary air domain awareness (ADA) and advanced counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) capabilities. The LVSS ADA C-UAS is an enhanced addition to Teledyne FLIR’s field-proven LVSS platform that features reliable, rapidly deployable, cutting-edge technology to detect and mitigate the growing threat of small drones.
The new system leverages a powerful combination of 3D radar, EO/IR camera, and RF detection and mitigation sensors to provide early warning alerts and recognition. Threats are detected and displayed simultaneously, showing position and elevation for all radar tracks.
LVSS ADA C-UAS also can detect drone swarms by allowing operators to monitor up to 500 radar targets simultaneously. A multi-spectral imager captures key UAS elements that help identify high risk targets for a pinpointed response.
“Protecting vast borders, shorelines, and forward-operating bases is a job that’s been made even more difficult with the challenges posed by drones,” said Dr. JihFen Lei, executive vice president and general manager of Teledyne FLIR Defense. “The LVSS C-UAS combines sophisticated counter-drone technologies and counter-measures to make it the most effective mobile surveillance system available to combat these dangers.”
“Our customers trust us for solutions like the new LVSS that adapt to fast changing threat environments and offer more of the capabilities they need for mission success,” Lei added.
Other major features of the LVSS ADA C-UAS include:
- Rapidly relocatable perimeter protection from the system’s ability to quickly deploy, stow and redeploy the sensor suite
- Advanced, high performing video analytics that allow operators to precisely identify, track and engage threats
- On-the-move C-UAS counter-measures with full non-kinetic kill chain capability; operators can obtain threat assessments while the system is static or while driving the vehicle
- New Cameleon™ V5 command and control software integrates all onboard sensors and supports advanced device features and bi-directional communications
- Increased cyber security tools to resist hackers.
The demand for C-UAS systems has exploded with industry rising to the challenge offering a mix of new technologies to counter this growing and hostile threat. In our July issue we will cover C-UAS systems which use kinetic and other methods to destroy and defat the UAS threat.