DOD looks to counter drone swarm strikes

The Defense Innovation Unit wants to hear from industry about tech to identify and mitigate drones threatening military installations.

drones (I'm friday/Shutterstock.com)
 

The Department of Defense is in the market for a system using existing technology to counter possible drone swarm attacks against military bases and installations. A March 1 solicitation from the Defense Innovation Unit notes that, "it has proven difficult to identify and mitigate threats using currently fielded technologies." DIU is seeking a solution that can comport with requirements of U.S. law to protect homeland bases, but can also function abroad in a variety of environments.

DIU is looking for a system to aid in detection -- using radar, optical or acoustic signals -- and identification and mitigation. On the identification front, DIU is looking for a system whose library of unmanned aerial systems will keep pace with what's available. On mitigation, DIU wants to intercept and disable or destroy threatening drones with directed energy such as a microwave beam or use a spectrum-based solution to jam and disrupt potential threats. In any case, DIU states a preference for "low collateral-damage effectuators" and "systems that support forensics and law enforcement."

The innovation shop wants to know from potential vendors whether their solution is viable against a swarm of six or more drones that function independently or maneuver as a group. Vendors should also specify whether systems can work at night, can neutralize fixed-wing or rotary-wing adversaries, whether systems can respond autonomously when triggered by an input via satellite or other source and operate at ranges greater than 300 meters.

This DIU solicitation is a little different from others. Vendors selected via written proposals will be invited to participate in a week-long test against targets on a DOD site. Responses are due to DIU by March 11.

NEXT STORY: FCW Insider: March 1

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