Defence and security technology company KWESST Micro Systems has signed an ‘amended and restated license agreement’ with AerialX Drone Solutions for counter-drone technology. In October 2019 KWESST signed a non-exclusive worldwide license with AerialX and has now gained exclusive rights to the technology for US and Canadian militaries. The product which is based on the licensed technology is being marketed under the name GreyGhost and is an autonomous soldier-portable micro drone missile system that defends against small hostile drones including swarms using high-speed kinetic impact.
Under the agreement, KWESST’s also retains its non-exclusive worldwide rights. KWESST has agreed to issue AerialX 100,000 shares of KWESST in consideration of the new exclusive rights and an additional 100,000 shares of KWESST upon AerialX meeting certain technological milestones.
The growth of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) creates new threats and challenges for NATO countries including the US Department of Defense (DoD) and Canada’s Department of National Defence (DND). Recent technology trends have enabled state actors, non-state actors, terrorist organizations and criminals to easily convert legitimate applications of sUAS into efficient weapons. These small drones provide NATO adversaries with a low-cost means of conducting intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions or direct attack of NATO forces.
“The Pentagon last year established the Army-led Joint Counter-Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office, or JCO, and approved a set of requirements to help counter the threat posed by small drones and formalized requirements for how technology developed by industry players can seamlessly plug into a single command-and-control system. Evaluation of industry counter drone systems are expected to be ongoing throughout 2021,” said Jeff MacLeod, KWESST’s President and CEO. “In the U.S. and in 2021 alone, DoD plans to spend at least USD $404 million on counter-UAS (c-UAS) research and development and at least $83 million on c-UAS procurement(1).”
The counter drone market has grown considerably in recent years, with both major defense contractors and small technology companies actively competing to gain market share in a market that by one estimate could be worth $5.4 billion by 2028(2).
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