Canadian Navy tests counter drone measures using technology supplied by QinetiQ

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) worked with QinetiQ Target Systems (QTS) to conduct a live demonstration to emulate the threat of small multi-rotor drones to large naval vessels. The demonstration was part of the CAD8.5 million Unmanned Targets Repair, Overhaul and Engineering contract, awarded to QTS in 2015.

According to a QinetiQ press release:

RCN required a solution that enabled it to carry out live training against air targets, experiment with new RCN Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) requirements, force protection live scenarios, and conduct Test & Evaluation (T&E), including jamming on UAS for shipborne EW capability.

QTS conducted a RW UAS-T capability demonstration from a Halifax-class frigate, in order to inform the RCN’s force development decision-making processes. QTS flew a Snyper multi-rotor target alongside Lockheed Martin’s Indago quadcopter, using QTS’ Universal Target Control Station (UTCS), which facilitates the operation of multiple unmanned systems from a single command centre.

The RCN has operated fixed wing aerial targets and marine surface targets using QinetiQ’s UTCS for more than 30 years, but the introduction of rotary wing targets is a first for the service.

A Class 2 UAV – Mosquito UHV-T – was also on board as part of an evaluation process of the feasibility of operating larger VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) UAVs.

The successful demonstration provided the following outcomes and benefits for our customer:

  • The successful operational test and evaluation of all ship-board sensing systems, which will enable Royal Canadian Navy crews to fight and detect threats within a controlled environment to enhance reaction times and skills.
  • Through this demonstration, RCN are enabled to train as they fight and react as needed. This in turn will develop the RCN UAV threat training syllabus, identifying, tracking and neutralising with a QTS low-cost target.
  • Working with QTS provides the customer with a low cost C4ISR capability.

The Snyper target is one of several QinetiQ technologies designed to help customers tackle threats from small unmanned aircraft. These include the Obsidian detection system and, as part of the Dragonfire Consortium, a laser weapon capable of destroying drones mid-flight.

(Image: QinetiQ)

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