Raytheon has offered a range of counter drone systems in response to a strong regional interest in technology that can keep airspace clear of undesired small intruders .
Company executive Evan Hunt said that a “layered approach” works best when dealing with smaller drones. Shorter-range, non-kinetic solutions include radio frequency jamming and lasers, while kinetic solutions, such as the company’s Coyote counter unmanned air vehicle weapon can engage targets at ranges beyond 5nm (10km) .
Interest in the technology is very strong in the MENA region, and has been for some time, he said.
The Howler system in use with the US Army is a good example of higher-end, kinetic kill solution. It sees Raytheon’s Ku-band Radio Frequency System (KuRFS) radar mounted on a vehicle, along with eight Coyotes in two launch pods .
In June, the army announced that Howler had achieved initial operational capability. Raytheon has also used KuRFS to cue targets for the company’s high-energy lasers .
Hunt said that use cases for counter drone systems vary greatly, from militaries that wish to protect forward operating bases to users that require counter UAV capabilities in densely populated cities. While a kinetic solution such as Coyote is appropriate for a military user to engage a target at long ranges, lasers or radio frequency jamming are better – and cost effective – at civilian locations such as airport .