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France Seeks Drone-Mounted Device to Intercept Battlefield Radio Communications

The warfare device must be able to detect, locate, and possibly jam radio communication transmitters.

France is seeking a drone-mounted electronic warfare device to detect, locate, and possibly jam radio communication transmitters.

In its request for proposals (RFP), the country’s Defense Innovation Agency calls for the device to be small enough to be carried by Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), weigh less than 25 kilograms (55 pounds), and to consume no more than 50 watts of energy.

The deadline for proposals is January 18 of 2021, while demonstrations for proposal prototypes are set to last seven months.

The RFP hasn’t revealed many details concerning the type of UAS for which the device should be compatible, barring the fact that it should work well with a fixed or rotary-wing drone.

The request also calls for the technology to simultaneously identify multiple telecommunications transmitters within a bandwidth of 30 to 6000 megahertz and transmit the information to a ground station in real-time.

Programming MidAir

Additionally, the device should be able to map transmissions from different locations, regardless of density of emissions, absence of saturation, or an opponent’s attempt to mask communication, the RFP said, adding that it should be programmable and can be reoriented during flight.

Unlike the other radio interception technologies that call for multiple drones to be employed in an autonomous swarm, the RFP didn’t specify this aspect of the system.

The French ministry of defense also hopes that with a range of innovative proposals coming in after the RFP, some of them may be able to influence “the use of existing technologies.”

The industrialized solutions resulting from these projects could equip army drones. The possibility of scaling up (in terms of technological maturation and mass production) should be taken into account in the proposal, the Defense Innovation Agency said.

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