Rafael has added a laser countermeasures capability to its DRONE DOME counter-unmanned aerial vehicle system, which can neutralise a small system that is flying in unauthorised areas.
The 360 degree system was first introduced in 2016, but the company has worked to add the new capability to the DRONE DOME that builds on the jamming countermeasure capability that was previously used in the system.
The radar can detect the threat at ranges of up to 3.5km, after which a communications intelligence sensor will be used to positively identify the target. At this stage, the operator can then choose whether it wants to jam the frequency of the link that connects the UAV to its ground control station by using a directional jammer. Or, with the introduction of the laser capability, it can target the aircraft with this new countermeasure, Meir Ben Shaya, C4I Business Development Manager at Rafael, told MONS at Paris Air Show 2017.
This is a low-powered laser that can target up to 2.5km away, Shaya noted, and is derived from other Rafael technologies of this kind. “We’ve reduced the capability from 50kw to 5kw to provide the ability to burn a drone,” he added.
It can burn the UAV itself, or just the camera, giving the operator flexibility in how it conducts the countermeasure. Not all operations of this type require a, “hard kill,” Shaya said.
The C4I system that DRONE DOME uses derives from other systems Rafael develops such as the IRON DOME air defence system, while the jamming capability is provided by Netline, and the electro-optical element by Rafael company Controp. The radar, meanwhile, is provided by RADA that has experience in developing sensors for border control.
It will be operational with the laser capability within the next six months, Shaya added, and systems already delivered can be upgraded to include the new capability.