The US Army will hold an ambitious demonstration of counter-drone solutions capable of neutralizing a swarm of 50 unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
The announcement came from the service’s Joint Counter Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office (JCO) and was reported by Breaking Defense.
According to the report, the demonstration was previewed at the annual conference of the Association of the US Army, in which countering sophisticated drones was one of the key discussions.
During the test to be conducted at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, industry partners will showcase various solutions against a swarm of up to 50 flying robots.
“If somebody has that system, come see me. I’m looking to talk to you,” JCO director Maj. Gen. Sean Gainey said. “We have some money that we’ll be ready to invest in.”
The army expects the demonstration to be carried out in June 2024.
JCO acquisition division chief Col. Michael Parent said the counter-UAS solutions will be classified based on the five drone categories available.
The first group contains small drones like quadcopters and nano drones, while the fifth group is for large UAS such as the MQ-9 Reaper.
While counter-drone solutions for all five categories are important in modern warfare, the US Army said it will only focus on the first three groups for now.
Participating vendors are advised to prepare for an electronic warfare-heavy environment, necessary in neutralizing hostile drones.
“[The demo] will show how our adversaries will try to overwhelm our air defenses and try to overwhelm our ability to counter small UAS,” Parent explained.
Army officials have reportedly identified some counter-drone technologies to be demonstrated, but they clarified that the event will not necessarily mean that the service will enter into a production agreement.
BAE Systems could participate with a counter-UAS solution mounted on an Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle.
The company said it will ensure the platform can integrate a 30-millimeter cannon, which is reportedly effective against group 1 UAS.
Dedrone is also expected to exhibit its state-of-the-art counter-UAS solution featuring radio frequency sensors to locate incoming threats.