C4iSR: Air

AUDS achieves TRL 9, deploys with US forces

23 January 2017
AUDS is now in operational service. Source: Blighter Surveillance Systems

An undisclosed number of Anti-UAV Defence Systems (AUDS) have been supplied to US forces and are now in operational service.

The AUDS has been developed in a collaborative effort by a UK defence consortium comprised of Blighter Surveillance Systems, Chess Dynamics, and Enterprise Control Systems (ECS).

The system is primarily designed to counter small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), in particular quadcopters. It features Blighter Systems' A400 Series Ku-band electronic scanning air security radar, which is used to detect the UAV; Chess Dynamics' Hawkeye stabilised electro-optic director, infrared and daylight cameras, and target tracking software; and a directional RF inhibitor from ECS, which provides the disrupt element by selectively interfering with the command-and-control channels on the air vehicle.

Mark Radford, CEO of Blighter Surveillance Systems, was unable to disclose to IHS Jane's the number of systems deployed, their location, or roles, only confirming that they are being used to protect critical assets and personnel.

Radford said AUDS has now reached Technology Readiness Level 9 (TRL 9) and has undergone extensive evaluation with military and government organisations, taking part in 12 overseas trials. "The AUDS team has carried out 1,500 plus [UAV] sorties and been tested against 60 plus types of [UAV]. This has enabled the AUDS team to fine tune different system elements, enhance usability, and improve the systems capability," he said.

According to the companies, the system is able to detect a target at a distance of 10 km and enact the full process of detect, track, and defeat in around 8-15 seconds; the operator is able to take control of the aircraft and force it to land.

A range of configurations for the AUDS system have been developed, Radford said, enabling it to be deployed as a fixed, semi-permanent, or temporary asset. These include a platform that enables AUDS to be installed on the roof of a building, a field mast system for the protection of semi-permanent sites, and a rapid-deployment configuration.

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