The US military has tested a multi-layered counter-drone at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) revealed in a statement.
DARPA has been developing the low-cost reusable system under its Mobile Force Protection (MFP) program for the last four years.
Avoids Collateral Damage
The system has been developed to thwart self-guided small drone attacks against military installations and convoys moving through populated areas where the use of “explosive defensive weapons” could lead to collateral damage.
“Because we were focusing on protecting mobile assets, the program emphasized solutions with a small footprint in terms of size, weight, and power,” MFP program manager Gregory Avicola said.
“This also allows for more affordable systems and less operators.”
During trials, the technology demonstrator first detected and identified the drones “using a newly-developed X-band radar.”
The system then launched fixed and rotary wing interceptors against the targets, being guided “through an automated decision engine tied to a command and control system.”
The focus of the MFP program is to defeat multiple aerial threats simultaneously, necessitating the development of an “integrated solution of sensors, autonomy, and mitigation solutions more robust than existing systems.”
DARPA is working with various US military branches to transition the technologies developed in the MFP program into “various acquisition programs.”