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DARPA has recently moved to phase 2 of the Gremlins program which envisions volleys of low-cost, reusable unmanned aerial systems (UASs) that could be launched and later retrieved in mid-air. DARPA selected two teams - one led by Dynetics, the other by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), to complete preliminary designs full-scale technology demonstration systems, as well as develop and perform risk-reduction tests of individual system components.
Aware of the growing threat of bomb-laden mini drones that recently emerged in Iraq and Syria, the US Army is rushing to field countermeasures and kinetic effects designed specifically to defeat drones. DRS and Moog are cooperating with RADA to demonstrate such 'hard kill' system for testing in October.
Research chemists at U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have developed and patented a transparent thermoplastic elastomer armor to reduce weight, inherent in the most bullet-resistant glass while maintaining superior ballistic properties. The thermoplastic transparent will also be repairable using a process similar to iron pressing to remove scratches.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has added a foliage penetrating (FOPEN) radar to its ELM-2112 family of persistent ground surveillance radars. Unlike other sensors in the ELM-2112 family, the ELM-2112FP operates in the L-band, to enable better penetration of dense foliage. With this capability the new radar can penetrate 'few tens of meters' into dense vegetation, to detect moving targets hidden in dense shrubs, forests, and jungles, from a distance of several kilometers away.
The CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal, including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized "zero-day" exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation. This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA.
The growing use of improvised, weaponized drones triggered a new interest in counter-UAV capabilities. Such countermeasures are required to warn the unit on the presence of drones in their area and have the ability to disrupt and defeat those drones when required. Until now, such unavailable were not available in the region. Although US forces have deployed some off-the-shelf C-UAV capabilities in the Middle-East since 2016, most of these technologies were not exportable to allied nations.
As traditional IEDs, the weaponized and suicide drones have a significant propaganda value, exacerbating their lethal effect. Due to their stunning visual products, drone-monitored and drone-carried attacks have generated huge interest, spreading havoc and fear among opposing forces - far beyond their lethal effect.
The U.S. Army is dispatching two specially modified Stryker vehicles designed to combat unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS). Developed as C-UAS Mobile Integrated Capability demonstrators the vehicles were evaluated during the recent Army Warfighting Assessment exercise at Fort Sill in October. The vehicles were flown to Germany last month to be tested with operational units in Europe. The deployment was requested by officials from US Army Europe.
The Scrambler 300 Drone Rifle operates in the L, S and C bands and is capable of jamming common telecommunication protocols between a drone and its remote operator. It detects targets at a distance of 500 meters and can jam such targets from 300 meters. GNSS jamming is enabled at 150 meters.
The Australian company DroneShield announced the first sale of its DroneGun tactical drone jammer to a government in the middle east. As a point-and-shoot weapon, the DroneGun is designed to be effective against a wide variety of drones. By neutralizing drones from a safe distance, DroneGun offers advantages over alternative kinetic solutions such as nets or bullets, as it allows for safe handling of situations such as drones carrying explosives or biological payloads.
Integrating counter-UAV capability in it’s Very Short Range Air Defense (VSORAD) ‘Red Sky’ system IMI Israel now supports counter-UAV capability as part of the air defense mission. The new system called 'Drone Defender' had gone through extensive testing in January; tests included operations in day, night and adverse weather conditions.
AI Elta Systems' Drone Guard is an integrated system comprising a low-level air defense radar and jammer. One of the first C-UAV system developed in Israel ‘Drone Guard’ went through an extensive test series proving its effectiveness against a variety of different drones in different scenarios, including simultaneous multiple drone penetrations or attacks.
The Syrian Army has reportedly introduced a locally developed infrared countermeasure system that effectively defeated the TOW guided missiles used by the US supported rebels. Three versions of the SARAB active protection (soft kill) systems were introduced since late 2015, which, according to Syrian sources, resulted in significant reduction in the loss rate of its armor to guided missiles attacks.