Leonardo has been selected by the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) to support counter-drone research and development programme at DSEI-2019, London, UK.
The study will explore the current threat posed by hostile drones and how this is likely to evolve in future, as well as evaluating a range of technologies that could form a future RAF counter-drone capability.
The programme is expected to
last three years and will commence in early 2020.
The threat of rogue drones has been well-publicised in recent months, with small, affordable aircraft widely-available on the open market. Drone technology is evolving rapidly, creating a challenge for organisations which need to secure themselves against the misuse
of such aircraft.
The RAF’s research programme will inform how the Air Force will respond to current and future threats and keep pace with technology over time, examining how operators will be able to detect, track, identify and defeat rogue drones.
Drones resulted in the cancellation of nearly 1,000 flights and affected the travel of 140,000 passengers just before Christmas in Gatwick airport, last year. After the incident, London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports ordered military grade anti-drone equipment to reassure the airport that it was safe for planes to take off and land. Following this incident, Canada imposed new regulations on operators for flying the drones this January.
Elements of the company’s counter-drone technology were deployed by the RAF to allow airport operations to resume after the unfortunate incidents.