US Navy seeks kinetic C-UAS capability against group 3+ drone threats

The US Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) has released a tender for kinetic defeat counter-UAS systems to protect US Navy assets.

According to the DIU:

“The growing threat of adversarial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) poses significant risks to U.S., allied and partner forces, naval vessels, and commercial vessels transiting key maritime routes across the globe. Within the last eight months, these adversarial UAS actions threat have directly resulted in the death of three innocent seafarers, the complete loss of one commercial vessel, significant damage to more than a dozen vessels, a 900% increase in war-risk shipping insurance premiums and a 50% reduction in year-over-year trade volume for one of these key waterways, which have all resulted in a 9% reduction in effective global shipping capacity and a significant increase in global shipping costs.  The U.S. is committed to protecting commercial maritime trade and, more importantly, service members conducting maritime operations in contested environments.

“To support this goal, the U.S. Department of the Navy seeks a kinetic defeat solution for group 3+ UAS. The proposed solution must demonstrate a high probability of kinetic defeat on adversarial group 3+ UAS and be more cost effective than the current  traditional air defense solutions being used against UAS and available to Naval operational commanders.” Deadline for responses is 28 June 2024.

The U.S. Navy intends to rapidly prototype and conduct a phased operational test and evaluation plan to validate the performance of one or more proposed shipborne kinetic defeat Counter UAS solutions. It is expected that solutions will be capable of expeditious worldwide deployment, integrated with a variety of naval platforms and must display the ability to be easily integrated into the existing sensors onboard a naval vessel.

“Solution briefs will only be accepted for complete Counter UxS (Uncrewed Systems) solutions that include a kinetic defeat effector and launcher that is focused on group 3+ UAS. Solutions may assume they will receive a track from the naval vessel’s combat systems to facilitate find and fix. The solution must be able to integrate with the naval vessel’s existing combat systems, but may also utilize an adjunct passive system (e.g., Electro-Optical / Infrared) that does not interfere with the ship’s organic sensors.”

For more information

(Image: Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) transited the Suez Canal and entered the Mediterranean Sea, June 7, 2024. – US Navy)

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