Farnborough 2018: SteelRock Technologies launches at airshow

20 July 2018
The SteelRock Technologies Nightfighter counter-UAV device shown at Farnborough International Airshow in patrolling configuration. Source: IHS Markit/James Rands

The hard launch of SteelRock Technologies (SR), a UK start up producing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and counter-UAV systems, took place during Farnborough International Airshow 2018.

During the show, SR displayed its Nightfighter counter-UAV device in multiple configurations. Nightfighter identifies frequencies used by a UAV and then uses a transmission to defeat it. Instead of jamming frequencies it overrides the hostile operator’s controls, which enables the operator to initiate return-to-home protocols, deny feeds from the UAV, or force a landing.

The company conducted trials in Wales, United Kingdom, and reported 100% success at ranges of up to 5.4 km. SR claims that the device is effective against commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) UAV models that are likely to be employed by non-state actors, although its effectiveness against military systems is not known.

With the threat coming primarily from irregular forces, whether the customer is a military or a civilian agency, such as a prison, there is likely to be a civilian population nearby. The Nightfighter employs a highly directional transmission, which is designed to avoid collateral damage and minimise risks to the operator.

Nightfighter is provided in two rifle-style configurations, the shorter of which is designed for infantry patrolling and the longer being more suitable for sentry tasks. Additionally, the Nightfighter was displayed attached to a sensor on the Bowler all-terrain vehicle and integrated onto the Odin counter-UAV, which couples it with a pan-and-tilt electro-optical array and UAV detection radar.

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