Summary of the current world's main anti-UAV solutions and technology development

Summary of the current world's main anti-UAV solutions and technology development

The British "Jane's Defense Weekly" reported on August 15 that due to the increasing degree of commercialization of drones, the threat to military and civilian targets is also increasing. As inexpensive and easy-to-operate drones continue to gain popularity globally, there is an urgent need to develop counter-drone (C-UAV) systems to counter this threat. This trend can be seen in the recent boom in counter-drone systems, which was underscored by the European Defence Show in Paris in June.

Threats posed by drones

Threats to the military realm

In addition to reconnaissance, the Islamic State (IS) first used small drones for tactical attacks and propaganda offensives. In January 2017, the website of Jane's Defence Weekly reprinted a video released by the group that demonstrated for the first time the use of commercial drones to carry out an attack. The video shows two militants launching Skywalker X7/8 fixed-wing drones, each carrying an improvised explosive device (IED) under each wing. The video also shows 19 attacks captured by drones, including its large number of IEDs being dropped on Iraqi security forces and their vehicles on the streets of Mosul. While the video shows that the first attack was carried out using a Skywalker, in the 19 subsequent attacks, the IED appears to have been delivered by a multi-rotor drone hovering over the target. If dropped by Skywalker, considering the flight speed and trajectory of this fixed-wing UAV, its projectile trajectory should be parabolic rather than hitting the target vertically.

In January 2018, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that Russia's base in Syria was hit by a large-scale drone strike for the first time. Air defense systems deployed at Hememin Air Base are said to have detected 10 small drones and three at Tartus Naval Base. Seven of them were destroyed by the Pantsyr-S short-range air defense system, and six were intercepted by electronic warfare units. Of the drones intercepted, three made an emergency landing outside the base, and three exploded on landing. In Afghanistan, extremist groups also use drones for surveillance and propaganda. For example, in October 2016, the Taliban released a video showing a drone-photographed suicide attack of a vehicle-mounted IED.

In September 2017, at the British International Defense Exhibition in London, Fabian Kesner, vice president of business development and marketing for air defense at Rheinmetall, said that both sides of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine also used drones to carry out attacks. He also mentioned that Yemen's Houthis used drones to destroy the radar of the Saudi Patriot anti-aircraft missile battery, swarming against the system, thus posing a threat to the airspace protected by the Patriot system. At the Farnborough International Air Show in July 2018, Raytheon confirmed that commercial off-the-shelf UAS can be easily weaponized and used by terrorists to threaten civilians, military personnel and infrastructure. In early August, according to relevant media reports, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was assassinated by two drones equipped with explosives during his swearing-in ceremony.

In addition, the proliferation of commercial drones will also pose a threat to civil aviation. In the past two years, dangerous incidents such as imminent and collision between civil aviation passenger aircraft and "black flying" drones have occurred from time to time.

Threats in the civilian sector

In the civilian field, drones may be used in terrorist attacks. A 2017 Terrorism and Insurgency Monitor published by Jane's Group showed that military groups may use drones to attack mass gatherings. Likewise, drones could be used to attack airports, for example, by ramming a passenger plane with explosives, or directly hitting an aircraft engine blade. Unmanned systems can also be used to attack iconic targets in major cities for propaganda purposes.

Drones are also used by organized crime gangs (mostly international drug trafficking organizations) to carry contraband and conduct pre-trafficking surveillance in sensitive areas such as the U.S.-Mexico border. Gangs also use small drones to smuggle contraband and narcotics to prisons.

The use of drones by civilian hobbyists without criminal intent could also lead to accidents. Incidents such as the landing of a quadrotor drone on the White House lawn and the drone flying over a French nuclear power plant are examples of the dangers that can arise when civilians operate drones. Serious accidents can also occur if drones inadvertently collide with commercial airliners. Therefore, in March 2016, the British Airline Pilots Association called for an in-depth study on the safety of drones flying near commercial aircraft.

counter-drone response

The U.S. Army's Anti-UAV Program

Due to the growing threat posed by drones, the United States has issued guidance and requirements to address the issue. In 2016, the U.S. Army tested a series of counter-unmanned aerial vehicles (C-UAV) solutions in a trial and issued a request for information (RFI) confirming that it could combat small unmanned aircraft in the sub-20 lb (9.07 kg maximum takeoff weight) class. Potentially mature solution for man and machine. According to the request for information, the trials were conducted in recognition of the security risks that small drones pose to military personnel in operational and domestic environments. In August 2017, the U.S. Department of Defense released new secret guidance documents for defense against drones that appear near military personnel and military installations. This is a direct response to concerns among U.S. military officials who have expressed concern that small drones by civilian enthusiasts could threaten U.S. military flights or operations; that drones are increasingly under threat from the "Islamic State" in Iraq and Syria. fighters welcomed; Russian-backed eastern Ukrainian forces used drones to hit government artillery positions.

In December 2017, the U.S. Army began to look for temporary short-range air defense and anti-UAV systems to deploy on the "Stryker" wheeled armored vehicle, and issued a request for proposals on December 5, 2017 to purchase 72 sets "Temporary Maneuverable Short-Range Air Defense" (IM-SHORAD) systems, which need to be able to counter UAVs through kinetic and non-kinetic means. In February 2018, the U.S. Army disclosed that it wanted to rapidly deploy two new systems to protect troops from "low, slow and small" UAVs, and issued two requests for proposals, one for rapid development, deployment and support The mobile "low, slow and small" UAV integrated defense system (M-LIDS), one is the expedition-type "low, slow and small" UAV integrated defense system (E-LIDS). In June 2018, Leonardo DRS announced the winning bid to provide its Mission Equipment (MEP) solution to help the U.S. Army enhance its temporary mobile short-range air defense capabilities.

Paraguay and Poland Counter Drone Threat Measures

Paraguay is another country that has issued measures to deal with the drone threat. Jane's Defence Weekly reported in August 2017 that the country's Ministry of Defence had launched a tender to purchase systems to capture and intercept drones. Military sources in Asuncion indicated that the move was aimed at restricting unauthorized flights of Brazilian drones over Paraguayan territory. Meanwhile, the Polish Armaments Inspectorate issued a document on March 1, 2018, initiating a technical dialogue with potential suppliers of systems to detect and counter drones. Code-named Nida, the system is expected to use friendly drones to counter enemy drones in the air.

Sales of anti-drone technology

With the issuance of these requirements, sales of counter-drone technology are also on the agenda. In January 2017, the U.S. Army awarded Syracuse Research a $65 million contract to develop, produce and deliver 15 new counter-drone systems "to meet joint emergency operations," according to the U.S. Department of Defense. Mission Requirements for the Accelerated Phase". In July 2017, the U.S. Army awarded it an additional $16 million contract to develop a vehicle-mounted counter-drone capability as part of the force's "Mobile Small UAV Integrated Defense System Increment 1" effort and to support Experiments have been held recently to inform requirements and government decisions for deploying numerous production systems. The company's DRS Land Systems division is the lead integrator for the contract and will work with Moog Defense and Space Group to combine its Surveillance and Battlefield Reconnaissance Equipment (SABRE) with the latter's Reconfigurable Integrated Weapons Platform (RIwP) The turret is integrated into two "Oshkosh" mine-resistant ambush vehicles.

In May 2018, an Avnon Group spokesperson revealed that in 2017, its Skylock anti-drone system had been sold to more than 30 customers around the world, including the Air Force and the Department of Defense. Arvid Matez, CEO of Israel-based TAR Ideal Concepts and Avnon Group Sales Director, revealed that the system has customers in West Africa, Southeast Asia and South America. Matz said at the European Defense Exhibition that the "Sky Lock" system already has two Asian customers with an all-in-one solution with hard-kill laser capabilities. One country ordered nine mobile systems for air bases and border protection, another country ordered six systems to protect presidential motorcades and parliament, and a Latin American country ordered two integrated systems.

In June 2018, Australia-based DroneShield announced that the Ministry of Defense of a Middle East country had signed a procurement contract with it for 70 "drone tactical jamming guns" worth $3.2 million.

Portable High Power Box-Type Drone Jammer Interception System

The development of anti-drone technology

A range of counter-drone technologies have been developed to counter drone threats, including signal jamming, capturing drone swarms with nets, or damaging drones with munitions, rockets, and lasers. The type of counter-drone technology employed depends on the situation. For example, shooting down a drone in a populated area could pose a danger to civilians, so other options may be better options in this case.

Kinetic Destruction Means

German company Rheinmetall revealed at the 2017 British International Defense Exhibition that a system that integrates guns with a variety of detectors (including acoustic, optoelectronic/infrared, micro-Doppler, radar and radio frequency, etc.) can economically detect and track. And lock down drones, thereby protecting vital assets such as the Patriot air defense missile system without the need for expensive missiles to defend against relatively inexpensive threats. Rheinmetall supplied the 35mm rapid-fire gun, as well as programmable prefabricated fragmentation air-explosive rounds (AHEAD). In addition, rockets can also be used to counter drone threats. One example is the AN-1 anti-drone system developed by China Poly Technology, which is equipped with four rocket-assisted interceptors each.

Raytheon announced on July 17, 2018 that the U.S. Army has selected its Coyote unmanned aerial system and Ku-band Radio Frequency System (KRFS) radar to address the drone threat over the battlefield. The Coyote is a small, expendable, tube-launched drone that can fly alone or in groups with multi-mission capabilities. Equipped with a seeker and warhead, the Coyote UAV can successfully identify and engage enemy UAVs in combination with an advanced electronically scanned array KRFS radar that can acquire and accurately track unmanned systems of all sizes threat.

laser defense

In July 2017, Jane's Defence Weekly reported on Marduk Technologies' "Shark" anti-drone system, which uses a 10-kilowatt-class laser to temporarily or permanently blind the drone's electro-optical payload, at the time The company said it would demonstrate a prototype of the system to the Estonian military in August-September 2017. Rheinmetall has also experimented with its laser technology and successfully tested its scalable beam stacking technology between 2010 and 2014, successfully destroying the payloads of multiple drones.

means of interference

The anti-drone solutions launched by Australian company DroneShield include "uav jammer" and "Mk II UAV jamming gun", whose jamming frequency is usually used to cut off the remote control and video transmission functions of small UAVs. According to the company, these jamming frequencies often cause the drone to land itself, forcing it to be captured intact or forced to return to its starting point, which can help track the pilot.

According to Droneshield, non-kinetic or soft-kill solutions (jamming or intrusion systems) are generally considered preferred as they have more reliable targeting capabilities and can be used against drone swarms or multiple drone attacks, minimizing Collateral damage and enable the drone to be captured and used for forensic investigations.

In addition, KB Radar Design Bureau unveiled its portable Groza-R counter-drone system at the Abu Dhabi International Defense Exhibition in 2017, which is designed to counter commercial multi-rotor drones and smaller fixed-wing drones. In addition to interfering with radio frequency communications of 2.4-2.485 GHz and 5.76-5.88 GHz, it can also intercept satellite navigation signals of GPS, "Gronas", "Galileo" and "Beidou" systems.

Anti-drone jamming systems can also be used with

Use in combination with lasers

The Avnon group of companies said its Sky Lock system could use electronic jamming to intercept hostile drones or deploy laser weapons, depending on the type of threat. Using radar and radio frequency identification for detection, after using day and night photoelectric sensors for identification (2.5 km range), the system uses a five-channel jamming system (which can intercept GPS, Wi-Fi and wireless signals) for interception, and can also use directed energy weapons to counter the broader threat posed by pre-programmed attack systems that do not rely on external communications.

In July 2017, Jane's Defence Weekly reported that Rafael Advanced Defense Systems had introduced a laser hard-kill interception capability to its "Drone Dome" micro and mini drone detection and countermeasure system. The system can use either soft kill or hard kill. With soft kill, the C-Guard RD jammer blocks very high and ultra-high frequency drone channels through active jamming technology (up to 400 watts total RF output power), it targets all standard industrial, scientific and medical fields Possible link and Wi-Fi frequency band. With hard kills, the Lite Beam laser fires a high-energy laser that can shoot down multiple drones every few seconds. In addition, high-pressure water cannons can also be used to counter drones.

Use the catch net to throw the net from the ground or in the air to

Countering the Drone Threat

At the 2017 British International Defense Exhibition, the British engineering company Open Works released the SkyWall 300 automatic acquisition anti-drone system. The system can be fixed in a fixed position or mounted on the roof of a vehicle, using nets as a countermeasure, with an effective distance of 250 meters, a minimum of 10 meters, and the ability to capture drones with a maximum speed of 50 meters per second. In December 2015, video released by NowThisFuture media showed the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department using multi-rotors to capture unauthorized drones in mid-air, all of which were equipped with large capture nets.

Training raptor animals to attack drones

The Netherlands has experimented with using Raptors for counter-drone missions. In late January 2016, the Dutch National Police released a video of The Hague-based Raptor training and security company Sky Guard (GFA) using an eagle against a target drone from the air. According to the CEO of SkyGuard, the company is primarily focused on providing counter-drone solutions for commercial drones. "We have used our anti-drone eagles for several missions in Europe and are currently in discussions with many customers in Europe and around the world to deploy our solutions," he said. In addition, the French Air Force is also training the eagles against drones. man-machine.

Back to blog