eonardo has integrated the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)’s NINJA technology into the Royal Air Force ORCUS counter-drone system.
NINJA (Negation of Improvised Non-State Joint Aerial threats) can electronically take command of a hostile drone. Its integration into ORCUS provides another tool for operators to defeat rogue drones, in addition to the system’s existing Leonardo Guardian system.
Guardian provides a long range ‘electronic sniper rifle’ jamming effect, while NINJA provides a similarly surgical cyber effect at a shorter range which can take control of a drone’s protocols and maneuver it to a safe location.
Leonardo has completed the integration of NINJA into ORCUS and the complete system underwent evaluation this August at the RAF Spadeadam electronic warfare tactics facility in Cumbria.
The trials saw ORCUS employed to detect, track, identify and defeat simulated drone engagements, with RAF and USAF personnel impressed by the performance and utility of the joint system.
Leonardo has previously delivered four complete baseline ORCUS systems to the Royal Air Force for the Synergia research and development programme. In addition, counter-drone technology from Leonardo was operated by the RAF during the recent G7 summit in Cornwall.