Israeli company SmartShooter has unveiled a new technology combination it says could effectively counter small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS).
Presented at the Modern Day Marine 2023 exhibition, the new counter-drone system features the integration of the Hopper Remote Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS) with DRS RADA’s MHR radar.
According to the firm, the Hopper RCWS provides military operators with the ability to remotely engage sUAS, keeping them out of harm’s way.
Meanwhile, the MHR, or Multi-Mission Hemispheric Radar, can detect drones more than 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) away.
SmartShooter says both systems are already operational separately, but combining them can offer a new counter-drone solution that meets the needs of armed forces around the world.
“The integration of our Hopper with the RPS-42 radar provides a very effective end-to-end solution to neutralize drones swiftly, ensuring the protection of personnel and critical assets,” company chief executive Michal Mor said.
Although it has already been shown to the public, the solution is reportedly not yet operational as additional work needs to be done.
‘A New Level’
The discovery of a new counter-sUAS tech combination comes amid the rapid increase in drone threats on the modern battlefield.
The company acknowledges that some drones can be neutralized by just jamming and spoofing, while others require a “hard kill” solution.
The Hopper RCWS, which can be fitted to a tripod, vehicle, or maritime vessel, utilizes a 5.56-millimeter or 7.62 caliber rifle to engage targets based on a remote operator’s commands.
The MHR radar can help target acquisition by alerting combat units and providing a prioritized queue of targets based on range to identify which to engage first.
“In such a way the weapon is pointed in the right direction and ready to engage… It is a kind of early warning system so the system can be ready to engage the target,” SmartShooter vice president Sharone Aloni explained.
Mor added that the advanced solution shortens the “sensor to shooter” cycle and enhances the military’s situational awareness.
“[It] takes air defense to a new level,” he said.