ROBOTICS AND AUTONOMOUS SYSTEMS
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Counter-UAS Company Purchases Anti-Drone Shoulder Rifle
Dedrone, a company that specializes in countering small unmanned aerial systems is pushing to expand its reach into defense technology by acquiring an anti-drone shoulder rifle, according to an executive.
The system, dubbed Drone Defender, was purchased from research-and-development organization Battelle. The rifle brings down threats using remote control drone disruption and GPS disruption capabilities, according to the company. The system can be used for two continuous hours and weighs 15 pounds.
“It's really our forte now moving more heavily into the government and DoD space,” Phil Pitsky, Dedrone’s vice president of U.S. federal business development, said in an interview.
The firm is also kicking off a new consultancy known as Dedrone Defense focused on U.S. government agencies. This organization is intended to provide “a proven, end-to-end solution that detects and classifies airspace activity, protects assets from drone threats, and defeats adversary drones,” according to the company.
Dedrone had already been working with Battelle on the radio frequency technology for Drone Defender, Pitsky noted. The recent purchase provides Dedrone with all assets and intellectual property associated with the system.
“We have very strong RF detection, and now we have the ... RF mitigation technology in our portfolio.,” he said.
Pitsky said the company already has customers within the Defense Department and plans to make some modifications to Drone Defender, such as improving its detection and threat mitigation capabilities. The organization was awarded a Defense Innovation Unit contract last year and has completed a number of transactions with Air Force bases since then, he noted.
Dedrone is also working with the State Department and the Social Security Administration.
“We’re going to be able to probably modify the product set to work in more fixed installation environments ... than we had before,” he said.
The company has been looking into expanding into the Defense Department and government market for a couple years now, he noted. Last year it participated in a Special Operations Command counter-UAS event.
“When we went through the Game of Drones in 2018 ... that really was a viable place for us to showcase the software platform and the multi-sensor technology we brought to the market,” he said. “That was ... a good validation point that we really had something that was a commercial-off-the-shelf solution that was really viable for the government.”