Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Iron Drone have entered into a collaboration agreement to integrate interception capabilities into IAI’s anti-drone Drone Guard system, the companies announced on Monday.
IAI currently uses ELTA Systems to develop and manufacture the Drone Guard. ELTA’s collaboration with Iron Drone is part of its strategy to collaborate with startups in order to leverage some of their new technology and assist in the upgrade of the general protection system.
ELTA Systems, a global leader in remote sensing and RADAR systems, has sold over 100 units that detect, identify, and disrupt the operation of malicious drones.
“The strategic collaboration with IAI’s ELTA Systems is a significant milestone for Iron Drone. The combination of Drone Guard’s advanced capabilities with Iron Drone’s steering and homing excellence result in a significant business and technological venture,” said Matan Melamed, CEO of Iron Drone.
The intercepting drone can be launched during day or night from a docking station that hosts several ready-to-use drones. Several intercepting drones can be launched simultaneously to address several targets or swarms.
The advanced radar technology integrated with Drone Guard is capable of detecting drones as they enter the airspace. The intercepting drone is launched and steered to the target with the help of the radar. It uses sensors and computer vision to home and lock on the target up to the physical hit of the attacker and its neutralization. The entire process is autonomous, requiring no human intervention.
The solution can be used in areas like airports, populated areas, power plants, sensitive facilities, and other infrastructures. Many of these areas are locations where other defense systems cannot enter because of environmental factors.
Sign up for our free weekly newsletterSubscribe
The use of drones has increased significantly in recent years both with legitimate users and with the growing use of drones by terror and crime organizations. Due to their small size and slow, low altitude flight, drones pose a threat to sensitive facilities, mass gatherings, VIPs, and other aircraft, as well as to other aspects of homeland defense.
Drones can also be used also for other purposes such as intelligence collection, smuggling, and even carrying ammunition. There is a need for a multi-layer, integrated solution that provides full protection against all types of threats, the companies said in the statement.
Zvi Yarom, general manager of ELTA’s Land Systems Division, said that the collaboration agreement and the integration of interception capabilities in IAI’s Drone Guard created a “specialized solution” for a broad range of threats.
“Drone Guard represents ELTA’s extensive know-how and experience in radars, intelligence, and AI combined with Iron Drone’s unique kinetic interception solution. The integration has been tried, proven and demonstrated in several pilots, and is now being marketed to customers,” he added.
Drone Guard is one of a set of systems manufactured at IAI’s and ELTA’s new Land Systems facility, under construction in Beersheba at an investment of over NIS 100 million.