AIM Defence to build laser-based C-UAS for Australia

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has contracted Melbourne-based AIM Defence to build a deployable directed energy (DE) system for counter-drone testing and evaluation, Australian media reports.

The $4.9 million contract marks the first time the ADF has acquired a DE weapons system for counter-drone applications.

The Fractl:2 DE system is designed to burn through steel and track and shoot down a drone travelling at 100 km/h. The system’s DE laser limits the blinding risk associated with typical one-micron systems. Fractl:2 is portable and battery-powered, and capable of shooting down as many as 50 drones per charge. It can be recharged via a domestic wall socket, or can remain plugged in for continuous operation.

AIM Defence has developed the system in collaboration with the Royal Australian Air Force’s Jericho Disruptive Innovation team, the Australian Army’s Robotics and Autonomous Systems Implementation and Coordination Office, and the Defence Science and Technology Group.

The Fractl:2 DE system is expected to be delivered to ADF operators by mid-2024.

PS News reports that AIM Defence has also been invited by the Canadian Department of National Defence to demonstrate a high-power laser system in an international counter-drone exercise in May and June.

The Fractl system will be demonstrated alongside 14 other companies from around the globe against ‘Red Team’ drones in a series of real-world scenarios at the 2024 Counter Uncrewed Aerial Systems Sandbox.

The Sandbox exercise is centred on detecting and defeating micro and mini drones, and is hosted under Canada’s Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security program.

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