SkyWall Auto autonomous system, capable of capturing a drone by firing a ‘drone entangling' net. (Open Works Engineering)
NATO has completed its Non-Lethal Technology Exercise (NNTEX-22C) at the PISQ military base in Sardinia, the Belgian Ministry of Defence announced on 28 March.
The exercise, held during 14–24 March, tested the neutralisation of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) using non-kinetic counter-UAS (C-UAS) capabilities, the announcement stated.
Belgium – the host nation – collaborated with Italian, UK and US partners.
Remote-control weapons, a hacking system, a high energy laser, and a net-gun and a net-drone were trialled during the exercise, the announcement added.
According to the statement, the results from the exercise were mixed, with certain systems successfully able to neutralise UAS threats, while others remain unscathed.
Arnout de Jong, CEO of Delft Dynamics, informed
that they had demonstrated their DroneCatcher system during the NNTEX-22C exercise. The platform is a multi-copter UAS armed with a net-gun, which is capable of safely capturing and removing a drone.
De Jong said that they had collaborated with Netherlands-based Robin Radar Systems, using their IRIS 3D drone detection radar. He confirmed that one of the unexpected challenges during the trial was the poor weather in Sardinia.
He also added that there were a number of different scenarios conducted over the two-week period, this included the trial of single and swarm UAS, using both small rotary-wing and fixed-wing systems.
James Cross, Director of Open Works Engineering, a UK-based company, explained to
that the British Army operated their SkyWall Auto during the NATO exercise. The autonomous system is capable of tracking, identifying and capturing a UAS by launching a projectile.