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Examining the future of C-UAV and C-RAM

Latest company news about Examining the future of C-UAV and C-RAM

C-UAV and C-RAM requirements Traditional missile-based air defense systems are very suitable for shooting down larger to medium-sized, complex military drones and larger-range LMs, such as the "Shahid" series. However, they are not a viable counter-drone option against small drone threats. Even if the latter could be detected within the engagement zone of very short-range air defense/short-range air defense (VSHORAD/SHORAD) systems, their ability to be used in large numbers would quickly deplete (V)SHORAD magazines, leaving the protected units vulnerable Under attack by more advanced aircraft or missiles. Cost asymmetries also make traditional air defense systems an economically unsustainable solution to such threats. To give some idea of ​​the extent of this asymmetry, CBS News reported in May 2023 that a single FIM-92 Stinger family missile costs more than $400,000, compared with a typical off-the-shelf small unmanned aerial vehicle. A drone such as a DJI quadcopter costs only a few hundred dollars. To date, radio frequency jamming remains the most widespread (and arguably most effective) weapon against small drones. Radio frequency jamming works by disrupting an aircraft's navigation and control systems, either by preventing the reception of command signals from a control station, or by blocking satellite navigation frequencies to disrupt GNSS guidance. Depending on the strength of the jamming system, the effect can scale both in intensity and in the width and depth of the target airspace. Both sides in Ukraine have deployed extensive interference to protect their positions from enemy aircraft and neutralize enemy drone capabilities ahead of offensive operations. The powerful electronic warfare system can be installed in a fixed location or vehicle-mounted for easy relocation. Low-echelon tactical units are equipped with portable jammers, while tanks and other combat vehicles have also been photographed with jammers on top of their turrets. However, countermeasures based on electronic warfare also have some weaknesses. Frequency hopping is often a simple and effective way to avoid radio frequency interference. Furthermore, as the Ukrainian attack on Russian electronic warfare sites demonstrated, jammers' signals can be triangulated, allowing them to be located and targeted via artillery, air-launched bombs, or missile strikes. Increased autonomy and the introduction of redundant navigation systems are expected to reduce the impact of radio frequency interference in the future, but this is not guaranteed. Some drones will continue to rely on radio frequency data links for remote control, receiving mission updates or relay situational awareness data back to the operator. Even as additional jam-resistant navigation systems become more common, GNSS will remain an important navigation tool. Even if interference does not completely disable vehicle control or navigation, it may still have a negative impact on the drone's effectiveness. Electronic warfare technology is expected to continue to evolve, improving signal strength, range and effectiveness, and using smaller portions of the electromagnetic spectrum to minimize collateral impact on friendly systems. The Pentagon plans to regularly field jamming capabilities at lower echelons, particularly at the platoon level, and is already experimenting with electronic warfare systems mounted on light infantry vehicles such as the U.S. Marine Corps' MRZR. Other armed forces are taking a similar approach. Improving jamming alone cannot offset the expected enhancements in tactical drone capabilities and operational concepts. Other kinetic technologies are actively pursued. Some of these measures also protect ground forces and facilities from rocket, artillery and mortar (RAM) attacks. Such a C-RAM system could have a large degree of functional overlap with the C-UAV role, making a system capable of performing both missions an attractive proposition.