C4iSR: Air

Elbit unveils ReDrone counter-UAV system

17 November 2016

A photograph released by Elbit Systems shows components of its ReDrone counter-UAV system. (Elbit Systems)A photograph released by Elbit Systems shows components of its ReDrone counter-UAV system. (Elbit Systems)

Elbit Systems unveiled on 14 November a new system designed to identify, track, and jam unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that enter restricted and sensitive airspace.

Developed by Elisra, Elbit's electronic warfare and signals intelligence (SIGINT) subsidiary, the ReDrone system was unveiled at the Israel Export Institute's HLS and Cyber Conference in Tel Aviv.

An Elbit source told IHS Jane's that the system is aimed at countering low-flying consumer and hobbyist UAVs, rather than military ones, and uses SIGINT and visual sensors to detect them. The use of multiple SIGINT sensors allows the locations of UAV operators to be identified through triangulation.

"After detecting a target, the ReDrone system disrupts the drone's communication with its operator, blocks its radio and video signals and GPS [global positioning system] positioning data, and sends it off track, preventing it from carrying out an attack," the Elbit press release said.

ReDrone employs a directional antenna when it jams its targets, reducing interference to non-hostile GPS and radio communications in the vicinity, the Elbit source said. "It will not disrupt all GPS users around the system. The same is true of radio frequency disruption," the Elbit source stated.

Consumer and hobbyist UAVs generally return to pre-programmed coordinates if their link to their control station is broken. If they also lose their GPS signal, they will either loiter or land where they are until it is re-established. This can be a problem if they remain in airspace where they present a threat to manned aircraft.

The Elbit source said the company is aware of the challenge posed by UAVs that land automatically when faced with frequency jamming and is working on solutions to deal with this threat.

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