Recent incidents have shone a spotlight on the need for counter-unmanned aerial systems (C-UAS) in the airport market, with manufacturers set to showcase their systems here at the Paris Air Show.
In December, UAS sightings at Gatwick Airport led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights just ahead of the Christmas holidays. This was followed weeks later by similar disruption at Heathrow Airport and at Newark Airport in New Jersey.
Such incidents show that “this certainly isn’t a manufactured crisis,” with similar problems to be expected in the future, said Michael Hofle, high energy laser (HEL) product line lead at Raytheon (Chalet 296, Static B8). The U.S. defense company has a military C-UAS business, notably through its “Laser Dune Buggy,” which is being displayed at the show. Raytheon will also be showing the HEL product line, aimed at C-UAS solutions for military users. The company has seen a surge of interest from airport customers since the Gatwick incident, said Hofle, though he was unable to provide further details about potential deals.