Israel Identified the threat posed by armed UAV’s and drones in an early stage and that has resulted in the development of many defense systems against this growing threat. The use of Iranian made armed drones by the Russian forces in Ukraine , is according to Israeli experts another anticipated development in the growing phenomena of using armed UAV and armed drones in war.
The Houthi rebels attack on the oil facilities in Saud Arabia in 2019 was performed by a mix of cruise missiles and armed drones. Supplied by Iran.
In the very recent clash between Israel and the Hamas terror organization in Gaza, attempts were made to hit targets in Israel with armed drones.
While all this happened , the Israeli ministry of defense and the Israeli defense companies , were already deep in the effort to find the best solutions.
Swarms of armed UAV’s and armed drones is a threat taken very seriously by Israel and other countries. But now a new threat is emerging very fast – attacks by swarms of armed UAV.
The threat was exposed in 2018, when the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed its forces in Syria were attacked by a swarm of home-made drones – the first time such a coordinated assault has been reported in a military action.
According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, Russian , forces at the Khmeimim air base and Tartus naval facility, have foiled the attack.
The official spokesman added that at nigh fall , the Russian air defense units detected 13 unidentified small-size air targets at a significant distance approaching the Russian military bases.
The growing threats and especially the numerous attempts to cause casualties in Israel by using armed UAV’ and armed drones, has taken Israel to an across the board effort .
So the threat is real and growing , and that brought a host of Israeli companies to develop defense systems they say can detect , neutralize or destroy incoming UAV’s and drones.
UAV’s and especially drones, present unique challenges that set them apart from traditional airborne threats, such as missiles or warplanes.
Elta , the electronics group of IAI , has developed the Drone Guard that addresses this threat . It detects and blocks its communication capability without compromising the communication capabilities of nearby civilian infrastructures. In this way, the operation of the hostile UAV or drone is disrupted and neutralized
Drone Guard is based on a combination of 3D radars that trace the air targets, electro-optical and COMINT means, and a dedicated UAV flight disruption system.
The company says that Drone Guard is used successfully against a range of UAV and drones and in other scenarios including forays or multiple-target,
The Drone Guard system features an integrated multi-layered sensor system that includes: 3D X-band radar that detects and tracks all types of drones; dedicated COMINT system that classifies the drone by its transmission (using the information to verify the target and reduce false detection rates); an EO/IR camera used to classify the detected object; and a Jammer that neutralizes and intercepts the object.
Elta says that all the sensors are managed by a unified command and control unit. The key advantage of the layered configuration is that it provides added protection should one layer fail.
According to ELTA , the system is capable of “closing the cycle” very fast , to neutralize a threat . This by Using a variety of sensors that supply very accurate detection , identification and precise location for the different active systems that are used to neutralize the threat.
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems , one of Israel’s major defense companies , has also joined the effort to cope with the growing diversified threat and developed the Drone Dome – a radar and laser-beam system for detecting and destroying drones, with the company adapting its existing laser systems to handle the threat. Once the system’s radar identifies targets, its laser system destroys them. Drone Dome also features a jamming system for disrupting communications between the drone and its operator. Drone Dome’s range reaches several miles, but causes minimal interruptions to other systems in nearby urban areas. The drone threat is neutralized by activation of directional GPS/GNSS and radio-frequency inhibitor/jammer devices. A laser weapon is optional.
The drone threat is neutralized by activation of directional GPS/GNSS and radio-frequency inhibitor/jammer devices. The laser weapon is optional.
In a recent dmo conducted in Israel, Rafael’s Drone Dome system performed interceptions of multiple drones, including maneuvering targets, using its hard-kill Laser beam.
According to the company this version achieved 100% success in all test scenarios. The stages of the interceptions included target detection, identification, and interception with a high-power Laser beam.
Elbit Systems , also developed an anti-drone system , the Redrone .According to the company this systems can detect, identify, locate and neutralize commercial drone threats in real-time, delivering exceptionally effective countermeasures for civilian, HLS, military and paramilitary defense.
The company says that the ReDrone system has been developed using sophisticated, field-proven SIGINT and EW technologies to create a two-level solution that provides options for both short and long-range protection, making it ideal for use in multiple scenarios, including the defense of borders, airports, strategic facilities, public events, convoys and VIPs.
The ReDrone has a 360° coverage and can detect and defeat single or multiple drones simultaneously. As a passive system with reactive jamming, the system transmits only when a drone is detected. Once detected, an automatic alert is sent, and the process of neutralizing the drone’s navigation and communication capabilities begins.
According to Elbit , ReDrone is designed to detect, identify, track and neutralize different types of drones that are flown within a range of radio frequency communication protocols.
The evolution of the anti UAV/drone systems will be affected directly by the power of laser systems. The currently used laser systems can kill a drone or a small UAV from a relatively short range and altitude.
The effort now is to find ways to integrate more powerful lasers in these systems. The detection and verification phases are performed now almost flawlessly by many sensors and in most cases by integrating their capabilities. The aim now is to achieve positive kill of drones and relatively big UAV’s.
In a video recently released by Elbit , the company presented the concept of the system: installing a powerful laser on the fore section of a UAV. According to Elbit , the company was selected by the ministry of defense to provide a laser-based solution that will protect Israel from missiles and rockets. This in addition to the operational Iron Dome systems manufactured by Rafael.
Elbit estimates that this technology is expected to be one of its growth engines in the coming year
An Elbit source said that the company has achieved a technological breakthrough which enables it to build an operational system if the defense ministry funds the project.
The threat is spreading and South Korea is considering the purchase of Israeli made anti-drone systems .This, after North Korean drones entered the nation’s air space recently.
The first system to be evaluated is the Rafael Sky Spotter that is capable of detecting small drones.
Utilizing a network of sophisticated optical sensors, Sky Spotter can use radar countermeasures to find small targets or aircraft. In order to prevent false alerts, the system uses AI to separate, classify, and identify objects.
The Sky Spotter is a cutting-edge passive early warning electro optical (EO) system sensor for accurate tracking of aerial objects, such as drones, airplanes, and UAVs.
According to Rafael it uses sophisticated artificial intelligence, image processing, and automation algorithms. The company says that the Sky Spotter is an essential part of standalone AS&W for force protection, air situational awareness, and support for C-UAS/GBAD systems.
Sky Spotter has a wide-field-of-view staring sensor that keeps continual watch, and its imagery is processed to lock-and-track numerous targets at once and to automatically give a sense-and-warn function. In a networked system, the quantity of staring sensors can be expanded to guarantee complete coverage
These sensors automatically detect suspicious objects, and when they do, the system alerts an investigating sensor with a considerably smaller field of view that is capable of giving an active defense systems the accurate point of it that will ensure a kill of the incoming threat.
Israeli sources said that in addition to evaluating this passive detection systems , South Korea may soon evaluate some Israel systems that are designed to kill hostile UAV’s and drones
European countries are showing great interest in the Israel Drone Dome system that protects against threats posed by armed drones. This peak interest is explained by the heavy use of armed UAV performed by the Russians in Ukraine.
Israeli company Rafael is upgrading its anti-drone system to meet the growing threats. The company has upgraded its Drone Dome system and claims that it is now capable of intercepting in longer ranges and in a variety of soft and hard kill means.According to a company source , the upgrades that were introduced are game changing.
He added , that the Drone Dome now features a maximum detection range of 150 km when using the SIGINT sensor. Jamming can be performed in ranges of 50 km.
He pointed to the fact that the upgraded system is capable of detecting possible threats from over 150 km away.
“These unique features bring this combat-proven system to the next level, delivering state-of-the-art performance from long distances.”
The source pointed to the fact that Drone Dome’s new capabilities include diverse jamming techniques allowing the system to deliver comprehensive defense against attacks from varying distances and altitudes.
And new smaller companies are joining the effort to develop ant UAV system.
One of them is Regulus that has developed the Ring C-UAS. According to the company this system uniquely and effectively uses GNSS manipulation techniques against intrusive threats – may they be attacking from the air, at sea or on the ground – replacing the need to jam several channels or to cyber-hack data links.
Ring uses very low-power smart RF transmission, only on the GNSS channel, to take control of threats and manipulate them – effectively and simply, without interfering with other communications. Ring is more effective than other C-UAS soft-kill solutions – affordable, compact, faster to deploy & easier to operate.
Israeli company SMARTSHOOTER, has developed the SMASH HOPPER a light-weight Remote Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS) using SMASH Fire Control technology. SMASH HOPPER provides operators the remote capability to engage ground targets and small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
The combination of lightweight and compact size of the SMASH HOPPER makes the system perfectly suited for complex urban areas, borders, and sensitive infrastructure and situations where a low signature is required. The HOPPER can be mounted in several configurations, including a tripod, fixed mast, surface vessel, and vehicles. The SMASH Fire Control tracking and locking capability enables the system to maintain its lock while maneuvering on land or sea.
The SMASH HOPPER can also be integrated into an existing Command-and-Control (C2) system, providing operators with the ability to hand-off or receive targets across existing communications networks.