New Unmanned Airspace survey highlights US domination of the global C-UAS sector

The latest update to the Unmanned Airspace directory of counter-UAS technology (https://www.unmannedairspace.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Counter-UAS-directory.-July-2020.pdf) shows the growing dominance of US industry in this sector – especially in areas such as directed energy weapons research and deployment – partnership trends between niche providers of detection and mitigation systems and the emergence of new industries from Turkey and China. The UK, Israel, France, Germany then Russia have the most prolific and varied C-UAS industrial bases outside of the USA. India has the smallest C-UAS industry of all major drone-operating countries.

The survey focuses on technologies that are available in the open market and research programmes in the public domain – so industrial capabilities of countries such as China, Russia, North Korea and Iran are unlikely to be fully represented in the directory.

Many of the new systems listed incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to reduce false positives to a minimum – a key issue with first generation systems – and help jam swarms of hostile UASs. AI also allows kinetic mitigation systems – such as C-UAS drones and intelligent munitions –  to communicate with each other in flight. While AI will undoubtedly be vital in combatting threats from drones whose physical coordinates and electronic signatures have been catalogued and input into a threat database, its use against home-built or entirely new designs is still uncertain, especially if they fly pre-programmed routes and do not rely on global navigation satellite systems.

The prospect of a 100% effective, low-cost, multi-layered detection, identification and tracking system supported by appropriate mitigation technology from a single-source supplier is still elusive – but coming closer. The directory lists 56 suppliers who claim to be able to field multi-layered detection and mitigation solutions from a single source. Some C-UAS suppliers are starting to offer system rental opportunities to keep down the cost of procurement, as more expensive and capable software solutions for detection and electronic counter measures are introduced into the market.

The directory also lists UAS traffic management (UTM) companies – such as Altitude Angel, Frequentis, Unifly and Involi – who are developing rogue drone detection capabilities and partnerships as possible candidates for integration within civil UTM networks. The world is currently divided on whether it should be the responsibility of UTM service suppliers to detect rogue drones or whether this should remain under the control and management of national security services. Companies such as Airspace Systems are now marketing dedicated C-UAS equipment directly to the urban air mobility (UAM)/advanced aerial mobility (AAM) sectors.

Philip Butterworth-Hayes

Capture systems

Countries Products
China 1
Germany 1
Netherlands 2
Switzerland 2
UK 2
USA 2

 

Directed energy

Countries Products
Germany 2
Israel 1
Turkey 1
USA 7

 

Guns

Countries Products
Denmark 1
Germany 1
Israel 2
Monaco 1
Russia 2
Taiwan 1
Turkey 1
USA 1

 

Integrated detection systems/ECM

Countries Products
Australia 1
Belgium 1
China 1
Denmark 1
Estonia 1
Finland 1
France 3
Germany 1
India 1
Israel 5
Italy 1
Monaco 1
Netherlands 1
Poland 1
Russia 3
Singapore 1
Spain 2
Switzerland 1
Turkey 2
UK 6
Ukraine 1
USA 20

 

Interceptor drones

Countries Products
Australia 1
Canada 1
China 1
Dubai 1
France 1
Israel 2
Luxembourg 1
Russia 1
UK 1
USA 5

 

Missiles

Countries Products
Belarus 1
USA 3

 

Munitions

Countries Products
Canada 1
Norway 1
Singapore 1
USA 2

 

Stand-alone detection systems

Countries Products
Austria 1
Australia 2
Belgium 1
Canada 1
China 1
Denmark 2
Finland 1
France 7
Germany 6
India 1
Ireland 1
Israel 7
Italy 2
Japan 2
Netherlands 3
Norway 1
Poland 1
Russia 2
Singapore 2
South Africa 1
South Korea 2
Spain 2
Sweden 1
Switzerland 1
UK 11
USA 29

 

Stand-alone electronic counter measures (ECM)

Countries Products
Belarus 1
Canada 1
China 1
Germany 1
Hungary 1
Israel 1
Japan 1
Russia 2
Spain 1
Switzerland 1
Turkey 1
UK 3
USA 5

 

(Image: Shutterstock)

 

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