Emerging Threats Demand Innovation:
Defensive Barrier Swarms vs Weaponized Drones
There is Currently No C-UAV Defensive System That Has Demonstrated the Capability to Defeat a Swarm of Hostile Drones .
The fact is, Some drones are going to get through the defenses.
There is Significant Potential on the Drone Side to develop Effective Countermeasures to C-UAV Systems, ranging from Tactics (Avoidance Maneuvering) to RF Hardening, Software and more.
The Cost and Complexity of C-UAV Systems (RF/Laser/Shoot-Down) Precludes Their Use in many situations
Vehicles and Aircraft need a Last Line of Kinetic Defense against Weaponized Drones
A "Red-Zone Defense" for C-UAV Systems
Weaponized drones represent a disruptive asymmetric threat for targets of opportunity anywhere in the world. Current Counter-Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (C-UAV) systems typically utilize RF jamming as a first line of defense, sometimes backed by a laser or even a gun-based kinetic kill component. Swarms of weaponized drones threaten the possibility of overwhelming C-UAV defensive systems. Should any drones in an attacking swarm get through the defensive screen of a C-UAV system (or if there isn’t one on on-site), targets such as vehicles, aircraft, and fixed installations would have no protection.
The cost and complexity of RF/Laser C-UAV systems limits their deployment on ground vehicles. These same factors, plus weight, size, and aerodynamics also effectively eliminate C-UAV options for helicopters and hovering aircraft. There are many documented cases of UAV’s making incursions in restricted airspace and threatening aircraft operations. There are also cases on record of UAV’s intentionally colliding with helicopters.
It is clear that a cheap, explosive-equipped drone is fully capable of taking down a helicopter and its crew.
This points to the need for a simple and lower-cost “vehicle-centric” kinetic close-in defensive system, to be used in conjunction with C-UAV systems as a complementary “red zone defense” against any attacking drones that penetrate the wider-area defensive dome. This system would need to be simple and inexpensive enough to mount on any vehicle or defended installation. Ideally the system would also provide defense against other common asymmetric threats, such as RPG’s.
The Active Rotating Countermeasures (ARC) System represents a simple, inexpensive kinetic close-in defensive system. As a “last resort” line of defense, the ARC system could complement current and future RF / Directed Energy C-UAV systems. An individual-target defensive capability, the ARC system is suitable for mounting on a range of vehicles. The kinetic defensive requirements at short range consist of very quick aiming, barrier overkill, and the ability to address multiple threats simultaneously (from different directions). The ARC system fulfills these requirements in a simple architecture. The ARC system features a modest energy budget and is designed for reasonable acquisition and maintenance costs. The ARC system also offers the flexibility to deploy a variety of countermeasures, and the development potential to keep pace with the evolution of battlefield threats.
There are two primary components in our active countermeasures system:
First is a continuously rotating turret (ARC) that can release one, or many countermeasures faster and defeat incoming ordinance further from the vehicle. The turret features multiple individual countermeasure munitions and is capable of defeating multiple threats, simultaneously or sequentially. The turret is a natural fit for scanning LIDAR sensing due to its continuous rotation. Thus the ARC turret offers an integrated sensing and deployment platform, which may be optimized for a variety of missions and vehicle types, including hovering aircraft.
Second is the countermeasure munition flexibility. In addition to field-proven “shotgun pellet” countermeasures, our solution can also utilize a Rocket-Towed Barrier (RTB) that is able to deflect incoming ordinance from its primary flight path, rendering it ineffective or disabling it entirely. In this system there is no explosive munition and no significant danger to people or things downrange. It is a short-range, stand-off aerial denial countermeasure that relies on a “counter-swarm” of obstructing barriers to defeat threats. The ARC system is capable of launching multiple obstructing barriers into the pathway of incoming threats, which results deflection, momentum transfer and entanglement. This provides a much higher probability of threat encounter than methods which rely on “hitting a bullet (or drone) with a bullet”. It is also much safer than other kinetic kill proposals as it lacks long range fratricidal capabilities.
Active Rotating Countermeasure (ARC System)
Aka. “The Turret”
The rotating launcher spins constantly, and can deliver ordinance faster defeating objects further away than current Active Countermeasure solutions
Rocket Towed Barrier (RTB) Munition
Illustrated Battlefield Scenario
Munitions used in the turret can take on many forms including that of a kevlar parachute towed by a rocket with a wide, non-lethal RPG intercept range.
Advantages of Our System
- Designed to be deployed safely on VTOL Aircraft
- Modest Weight and Power Budget
- Supports Aircraft, Ground, Shipboard and Stationary Installations
- Non-Fratricidal Munition
- Designed to Defeat Multiple Simultaneous Threats
- Supports multiple specialized munitions
- Leverages Simple Technology
- Delivery system supports use of future munitions for new threats without retrofit