Military Capabilities

US Army requests expeditionary and mobile systems to counter ‘low, slow, and small’ UASs

15 February 2018
An Islamic State ‘drone’ records the moment of detonation of a vehicle-borne IED in Iraq. With such small UAVs being increasingly used for reconnaissance, surveillance, and for attack, the US Army is seeking the urgent fielding of systems that can counter the threat to its deployed forces. Source: Amaq

The US Army is looking to rapidly deploy two new systems to protect its forces against ‘low, slow, and small’ unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), the service disclosed on 14 February.

Two separate requests for information (RFIs) related to the requirement were posted on the same day for the rapid development, deployment, and support of the Mobile-Low, Slow, Small UAS Integrated Defeat System (M-LIDS), and for the Expeditionary (E-LIDS) system.

Both RFIs noted, “The US Army has identified a need to develop countermeasures against enemy-armed and intelligence gathering UASs operating at various speeds and altitudes, which are targeting US interests both at home and abroad.

“[These RFIs] include all incidental services to develop, produce, integrate, deploy, and sustain the M-LIDS/E-LIDS in multiple theaters of operation.”

No details on either system were disclosed, except that the RFIs were given a classification code listing of ‘Guided Missiles’. Interested parties have until 1600 h Central Time on 2 March to respond to the solicitations.

These RFIs come two-and-a-half months after the US Army said that it was looking for an interim close-in air defence and counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (C-UAV) system to field on its Stryker wheeled infantry carrier and reconnaissance vehicles. That RFI, issued on 5 December 2017, was for 72 Interim Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (IM-SHORAD) systems that would be capable of neutralising unmanned aircraft through both kinetic and non-kinetic means.

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