The Ministry of Defence has launched a £2 million competition to find ways to defeat hostile drones.
The competition run by the Defence and Security Accelerator will support the development defensive capabilities drawing upon “autonomous decision-making mechanisms and networked sensing systems capable of detecting, tracking, identifying and defeating hostile unmanned aerial systems over complex and varied environments”.
It will focus on:
* Next-generation counter-UAS technology – new technological solutions to provide robust and cost effective sensing and defeat options.
* Flexible counter-UAS technology – programmes capable of bringing counter-UAS technologies together and linking with other surveillance systems and cooperative drone awareness systems.
* countering future UAS systems – developing capability to detect and mitigate threats from UAS acting autonomously, in swarms and in highly congested airspace.
David Lugton, principal engineer at the Defence Science and Technology Lab, said: “Hostile UAS is a challenging threat in many different ways and requires cutting edge technology and well-thought-out system approaches to counter it effectively. Through this competition we are looking to inspire and develop a range of solutions to mitigate the threat posed by UAS now and in the future.”
Phase 1, which will deliver proof of concept of the proposals, will be worth some £800k and is scheduled to take place from July 2019 to March 2020. The total funding for the competition is expected to be at least £2m, split over multiple phases.