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France Seeks Drone Swarm Air Defense Spoofing

A French defense project seeks to deceive combat aircraft or air defense systems through drone swarms.

Thales and the University of Bordeaux conceptualized the “AutonomouS SYstem for Decoying using Uav Swarms” (ASSYDUS) project under the aegis of the Defense Innovation Agency.

It hypothesizes a swarm of small aerial drones whose collective radar cross section (RCS) resembles a fighter jet.

AutonomouS SYstem for Decoying Project 

“The originality of the principle adopted is to position the drones of a swarm autonomously in order to obtain an RCS, measured by the radar of the ground-to-air system, which is equivalent to that of a combat aircraft, and to set up drones (a swarm) management so as to lure the radar which would measure the target’s Doppler,” the project description reads.

The swarm’s autonomous capability is crucial in implementing the deception and thus requires drones that could autonomously position themselves in such a way that increases their RCS.

“The autonomy of the swarm will be crucial in applications containing numerous cooperating drones or drones supervised by an operator whose concentration is already required on other activities (an airplane pilot for example),” the Defense Innovation Agency said.

The project has been validated following flight tests of several multi-rotor autonomous drones and confirmation of the results in real-time, according to the agency.

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