Fresh from showing off its gotta-zap-’em-all Dragonfire laser cannon, the Ministry of Defence is now buying a £20m anti-drone system.
The “urgent” requirement from the MoD was issued last week, and could be linked to the mischievous Scot who landed his hobby drone aboard aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in August.
“The Capability shall be able to Detect, Track, Identify and Defeat UAS’s with weight ranges of between 2-150kg. With a specific area of focus on the 2-22kg and a minimum defeat range of” [sic], stated the contract notice, which appeared to have been cut short in its public form.
The weight limits to be targeted by the system are particularly interesting. The 2-22kg weight range covers most hobby and prosumer drones, other than indoor toys for children. This suggests that the MoD is actively considering the threat posed by camera-equipped drones flying over sensitive areas – or even airborne improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Last October a drone IED killed a number of soldiers in Iraq.
Source: The Register