With major sporting events such as the Euros and Olympic Games in Japan now returning after lockdown, there is a perceived risk that UAVs could pose a threat to the safety of spectators.
Aerospace and defence companies are stepping up their focus on negating these threats with European technology giant Thales working with civil, military and governmental bodies to introduce new ways to monitor and control this pervasive technology.
Thales’ Eagle Shield And Force Shields protect military and civil sensitive areas such as stadiums, airports, oil and gas infrastructures, large cities and defence installations. The system has a range of 7km and can detect and identify malicious drone threats to providing a soft neutralisation capability compatible with operations in civil environment.
From detection to engagement
Maxence Jegu said ForceShield, which protects large military environments and EagleShield, which can be used within airports were two solutions from Thales’ counter UAV portfolio. He explained: “We have different kinds of radars that we can put in place. Depending on the area to cover the detection range will be different. So we have grown the Groundmaster radars, we have the Groundmaster 60, Groundmaster 201, Groundmaster 400. These radars are here to make the detection and the classification of the target, then you have the command and control, the system to coordinate with the engagement, which will shoot the targets – it’s a solution from detection to engagement.”
Technology for Thales’ airports counter UAV solutions is assisted by radar acquired from UK company Aviance, which is now part of Thales. Jegu added: “We call it the Gamekeeper as part of our product, it’s a 4D holographic radar, detecting at a range of 7.5 kilometre for now and it will be increased to 10 kilometres.”
“This radar is so powerful that it will be able even to detect birds. Then the beauty of the system in the radar and in the command and control, is to analyse, with other sensors, with camera, direction finders, to make data fusion in order to give to the end users the best way to identify, classify, and then to put the right move to neutralise the threats, the right jamming or the right weapons to to engage the threats.”