As well smaller for lasers, as well significant for nets

A 3D Robotics Solo drone seen in flight. Pic: Ian Hudson

A 3D Robotics drone (file photograph, by way of UAVHive)

Contemporary from demonstrating off its gotta-zap-’em-all Dragonfire laser cannon, the Ministry of Defence is now shopping for a £20m anti-drone technique.

The “urgent” necessity from the MoD was issued final week, and could be linked to the mischievous Scot who landed his passion drone aboard aircraft provider HMS Queen Elizabeth in August.

“The Capability shall be equipped to Detect, Track, Identify and Defeat UAS’s with fat ranges of between 2-150kg. With a unique region of emphasis on the 2-22kg and a minimum defeat variety of” [sic], mentioned the contract notice, which appeared to have been reduce brief in its general public type.

The fat restrictions to be focused by the technique are especially exciting. The 2-22kg fat variety addresses most passion and prosumer drones, other than indoor toys for young children. This indicates that the MoD is actively contemplating the menace posed by camera-equipped drones traveling over delicate regions – or even airborne improvised explosive equipment (IEDs). Very last Oct a drone IED killed a range of soldiers in Iraq.

Defending from drones is getting a headache for practically all people, from militaries to legislation enforcement and private passions. When drone swarms have been a aspect of theoretical war game titles for a long time (“my 10,000 traveling robots will overwhelm your air defence devices intended to shoot down standard aircraft”), it is only not too long ago that technological innovation has advanced to the position where by drone swarms are plausible.

The Dragonfire laser cannon, under growth in the United kingdom, can be utilised from bigger drones, according to manufacturer MBDA. With a mentioned recharge time between shots calculated in minutes, on the other hand, it wouldn’t be a great deal excellent from lesser drones – hence the contract for a technique that can goal and presumably ruin these craft.

Conclusions could quite possibly be drawn about the performance of the counter-UAV technique announced in 2015, as bought by the MoD. On the other hand, most of these offers are inclined to have a shelf life – or a time-confined contract. ®

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