by: Yoav Zitun
Thursday, 15 August 2019 | While the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] has not yet come up with its own proven operational response to enemy drones, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries, ELTA Systems, has already sold 100 “Drone Guard” systems to a number of foreign defense agencies.
The system detects and brings down drones using frequency blocking and electronic warfare, but a new upgrade, set to be introduced in the coming months, involves a “suicide” drone called the Bird that brings down enemy UAV’s hovercraft by identifying their flight path and flying into them.
The new system [that] independently identifies a single drone or a group upon takeoff, can classify them by type and even predict the flight path.
The system uses not only radar but also a combination of optical tools that help to differentiate between the drone and other craft in the air, should the enemy attempt to deceive the system with balloons, kites and even rounds of bullets fired into the air.
ELTA has also developed an innovative capability to “steal” a drone, which has not yet been fully operationalized.
As well as bringing down an enemy UAV by hitting it with a drone, the system offers other options that are already operational and have proven themselves. These include using blocking frequencies or firing on the enemy drone from the ground with a special sight on a rifle that tracks and locks onto the drone in the air and then opening fire on it.
“One must remember that this is not a threat that is close in seriousness or damage to an anti-aircraft missile or rocket,” says a senior ELTA official. “Every anti-drone system has its advantages and disadvantages, so combining them optimizes the solution.”
The key challenge in combatting the drone threat is identification, therefore the new system provides 360-degree coverage.
The “Drone Guard” system, which can be used in automatic mode or semi-automatically alongside a soldier, has already proven itself in securing the G20 conference in Argentina in late 2018.
“The system already knows how to adapt well to its environment and differentiate between friend and foe,” the ELTA official says.
“The ‘Bird’ operating against drones will be a sophisticated upgrade.”
Posted on August 15, 2019
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