How SIGN4L is countering hostile UAVs

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Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have reached unprecedented levels of sophistication, progressively expanding from a niche military tool into relatively inexpensive yet high-tech weapons in the arsenal of an ever-growing asymmetric wars. With flights over sensitive sites ever more frequent all over the world, hostile UAVs now present military and security authorities with a serious challenge. Irrespective of a UAV’s type or purpose, government agencies and armed forces everywhere are looking for ways to counter the threat.

When it comes to effectively responding to drones and the threat they can potentially pose, there is no silver bullet solution. It requires a comprehensive and end-to-end approach. SIGN4L, the UAE’s leader in developing electronic warfare and intelligence solutions and subsidiary of EDGE, is developing modular parts and working with leading global defence players to deliver a multi-layered and scalable solution to meet the ever-evolving security challenges from a broad spectrum of adversaries.

SIGN4L is working with European defence entities, MBDA and CILAS, to deliver a state-of-the- art system that will comprise electronic sensors for detection and identification, and high-energy lasers to neutralise micro- and mini-UAV threats. The cooperation spans diverse phases, enabling the UAE to benefit from the international expertise of MBDA and CILAS. The first phase of the programme will deliver a highly-effective land-based system that combines sensor data from various sources with the latest data fusion, signal analysis, jamming technologies and directed energy weapons. The solution will also be tailored to fit on a variety of platforms, including in the air and at sea.

Following an extensive and detailed roadmap, SIGN4L is simultaneously collaborating with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in developing its turnkey C-UAV solution. The end product will employ an impressive variety of detection and interception techniques. For instance, the detection and tracking elements will rely on radar, radio frequency (RF) monitoring, electro-optical (EO) cameras, infrared (IR) sensors, and 3D radars.

Based on the level of risk, the solution will deliver a layered defence that includes soft-kill and hard-kill countermeasures to best manage the threat. Soft-kill methods of interdiction include radio-link jamming, GPS jamming, spoofing, and directed energy solutions. Hard-kill capabilities such as, missiles will also be available based on the level of threat as well as the customer’s targeted operating environment.

As a serious player in directed energy weapons and electronic warfare technology, SIGN4L will contribute key aspects of the modular solution. Leveraging its product portfolio of spoofing and jamming solutions, including NavControl-G, SIGN4L will adapt its capabilities to meet the market specifications of the end solution. Similarly, managing multiple sensors and effectors in the field requires a system that ties everything together. SIGN4L’s flexible, open architecture command- and control-system combines sensors with jamming and cyber effects to take down hostile drones.

Throughout the year, SIGN4L and its trusted partners have been testing key components and making extensive use of the region’s natural environment to ensure solution performance and reliability. The region has specific needs when it comes to its environment, therefore the system will perform well in hot, humid and dusty weather. With that being said, SIGN4L intends to offer a comprehensive and robust solution that can compete in the global market.

Since its inception in 2019, SIGN4L has been driving the UAE’s economic progress, expanding training and supporting home-grown innovation while ensuring its clients can access and deploy the most EW cutting-edge solutions in the market. SIGN4L is part of the Electronic Warfare & Intelligence cluster at EDGE, an advanced technology group that ranks among the top 25 military suppliers in the world.

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