by Defense One – All links to Gospa News articles have been added aftermath

In late September, an NFL game between the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks was delayed for about eight minutes while a small drone hovered over Lumen Field. One day earlier, the same thing happened nearby during a University of Washington football game.

Neither incident did more than disrupt a game, but both underlined security concerns about cheap, easy-to-use drones. Some 5,500 miles from Seattle, Russia and Ukraine are increasingly using kamikaze drones on the battlefield.

The proliferation of drones has prompted numerous companies to come up with ways to defeat them. At last month’s Association of the U.S. Army’s annual meeting in Washington, a bunch of new counter-drone tech was on display.

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In recent years, the Pentagon’s counter-drone efforts have been piecemeal. In January, U.S. Special Operations Command awarded Anduril a contract that could be worth up to $1 billion;  In October,  the Army’s Counter Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems office approved counter-drone tech made by SAIC, Anduril, and Black Sage Technologies to protect military bases. This month, the U.S. Marine Corps asked companies to give them details about tech that could protect 33 installations: 20 in the United States and 13 overseas.

I recently chatted with Greg Fortier, SAIC’s vice president of Army solutions, about the company’s efforts in the field. Over the past decade, SAIC’s counter-drone tech has been used during the Olympics, global leaders summits, and most recently during the Artemis launch at Cape Canaveral.

SCI Technology’s AeroGuard, part of SAIC’s suite of counter-UAS systems – CREDIT: SCI Technology

“A lot of learning along the way and a lot of innovation along the way to really develop what we think is the only technology-agnostic counter-UAS system,” Fortier said.

SAIC says its tech can be tailored to defend anything from a stadium or a stretch of the border. The counter-drone systems detect, identify, track, and then defeat the nefarious drone in several ways. One is called AeroGuard, a drone that fires a net at the rogue drone and then carries it to the ground. 

Screenshot of a drone caught by AeroGuard UAS during demonstration

Other options include “high-powered microwave, a high-energy laser, or what have you,” Fortier said.

SAIC uses up to 14 vendors, depending on a customer’s needs, but it is evaluating dozens more, Fortier said. The company touts its open system, which allows it to easily add tailored tech developed by others. The system can be installed on a vehicle, a trailer, or a fixed location.

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“We are working through laser integrations on vehicles and some other things and learning lessons along the way so that we can understand the requirements, understand the power draw and some of the other technical components associated with that,” he said. “But [the system is] very, very flexible; very, very modular; very, very scalable.”

During a demonstration at the Yuma Proving Ground earlier this year, SAIC’s system “demonstrated impressive effectors,” according to a Sept. 16 Army memo reviewed by Defense One. It was able to force a rogue drone to land using EnforceAir technology and also used the AeroGuard drone to chase down a threatening aircraft. Fortier said the company’s tech was “92 percent effective” during the Army trials.

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Fortier said SAIC’s tech is unique in that one person can control the entire system from a single computer screen. The system can also be connected to military networks where it can share its data.

Like its competitors, SAIC sees counter-drone tech as a growth area. Fortier said the company will “continue to evolve our systems, continue to stick with the team, keep the team intact, and then continue to be innovative across our space, whether it be the various software tools that we can use, incorporating the AI and machine learning into the process.”

by Michael Weisgerber originally published on Defense One

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  1. CatchN-aCovid Drone ?

    What a hootter ! –> simply launch two drones.. this stuff is junk…

    running aournd the battlefield w a net ? ????

  2. Better to revert to slingshots, catapults and boiling oil. We have come full circle in human insanity directed at self destruction. What are we fighting for?

  3. Hi Fabio
    Here is one of many videos of the nuke being used in the Sevastapol speedboat drone attack.

    Look at 24 to 28 seconds, there is the brilliant white plasma ball.
    The rest of video is propaganda trash dont even bother watching it.

    I suspect this video clip allowed to be seen by public to let those “in the know” know that nukes were used in the attack, while the general public will assume just a “huge explosion of some kind”

    Dont know if that is a Russian “defensive EMP’ blast to mess up the drone electronics, or a British “look what we will do” destructive nuclear blast (and EMP)

    Since this is very bloody war and could easily empty nuclear arsenals WW3 style either by a “sorry about that” accident or a cock sure deliberate US/NATO first strike,
    nobody is going to admit to anything and the public has really no “need to know” as loose lips sink ships.

  4. An EMP blast will disable drones.
    Best way for that is a small nuclear explosion nearby, And of course the explosion being one that leaves zero radiation detectable afterwards and zeor “fallout” too (a “deniable” nuke)
    They do this in one method, by lining the bomb canister with iron powder and for some reason the iron mixed into the plasma “eats up” all the radioactivity.
    They have lots of these dniable nukes nowadays in way of “bunker busters” in a penetrating sort of blast, also those of very flat pattern to clear jungles or forests (used in vietnam but those were not very “clean” and many troops moved in “after three day wait” were poisoned with radiation)
    And also small mini nukes that will send out the EMP at an altitude and strength and pattern to knock out drones.
    One way to detect a nuke is the “after effects” (not any radiation)
    If after effects are what only a zillion degre plasma ball of energy can do, then its a nuke, example: 500ft dish shaped crater in solid granite in Beirut Harbor, or the giant 3000 degreeF puddle of molten steel left in ground zero NYC and took 3 months to cool down.
    Also photographic evidence, as if it is very bright white circular ball of plasma then its a nuke (see explosion photos in Beirut)
    In rhe recent attack on Sevastapol with the speedboa drones – there is BBC video showing a white plasma ball explosion at beginning of attack most likely an EMP to disrupt drones, the nuke either British or Russian, both capable).

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