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Aerospace and Defense Europe United Kingdom

United Kingdom Drone Technology

The UK is seeking proposals that can develop the technology needed to counter Unmanned Air Systems and demonstrate how these can be integrated together to form a capable system. The total funding available for companies with novel technology to develop is approximately $1.9m. 

The UK Ministry of Defense (MOD) Defense and Security Accelerator is seeking proposals that can develop the technology needed to counter Unmanned Air Systems (C-UAS) and demonstrate how these can be integrated together to form a capable system. This competition has $1.9 million in funding available for companies with novel technology to develop and proposals must be submitted by midday (BST) on Tuesday 21st July 2020.

The threat that the MOD desires to mitigate is that posed by commercial, improvised or military grade small UAS (sUAS), including both multi-rotor and fixed wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The MOD’s primary focus is on UAV platforms smaller than approximately 50kg Maximum Take Off Weight; Class I(d) and below UAS under the NATO classification scheme.

The small physical size, relatively low altitude and low speed associated with UAVs pose a significant detection challenge to defense and law enforcement organizations and these difficulties are compounded by other attributes that make such UAS a very difficult air target to defeat. Future threat UAVs will be faster and less detectable, they will have a greater operational range, they will carry larger, more sophisticated payloads, they will incorporate advanced artificial intelligence based navigation and situational awareness systems and they will use emerging communication methods.  

The MOD acknowledges that there is no one, single, “drone threat” and that there are many different threats from UAS some of which are still unknown. Generic examples include a range of effects either delivered directly or enabled by UAS, including surveillance, targeting and explosive threats.

There are three challenge areas that the MOD needs addressed:

  • The MOD is seeking technology that provides protection from small UAS to fixed sites, including airfields, domestic infrastructure and large-scale deployed operating bases. Of key concern is the need for persistent and reliable detection, tracking and identification of UAS, including of the operator, and the capability to prevent the threat from completing its mission. The MOD seeks highly autonomous, multi-modal, unattended C-UAS sensing that is capable of 24/7 operation with no operator intervention needed for the monitoring element.
  • The MOD needs to provide mobile C-UAS solutions. The key requirement is for C-UAS solutions that have low Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) and are operable in a moving, contested environment. The purpose is to enable them to be mounted on vehicles or carried by personnel, and provide mitigation of UAS whilst on the move.
  • The MOD needs to provide C-UAS capability to Royal Navy ships. The need is for detection systems and effectors suitable for use in the maritime environment.

For more information on the competition, please visit the MOD’s Finding and Neutralising Small UAS Threats announcement or contact PJ Menner in Embassy London at pj.menner@trade.com

05/15/2020