Page 20

Cyber Security

70 Australian-made DroneGun Tactical anti-drone devices sold to middle Eastern Country

A By Bennett Ring

20 |

ustralian company DroneShield has just announced one of the biggest anti-drone technology sales in Australia’s history, with the purchase of 70 DroneGun Tactical weapons to a middle-Eastern Country. While the company isn’t able to divulge which country the sales have been made to, we had a chance to interview the company’s CEO and MD, Oleg Vornik, to discuss the deal. The total value of the sales exceeds AU$3.2 million, making it the largest of its type in the Australian defence sector. DroneShield has been developing the DroneGun Tactical and its underlying technology for over five years, and 70 units of the DroneGun Tactical will be deployed soon to the unnamed country. This is the largest deal for the company to date, which is currently targeting approximately 50 countries for sales of its products. QLD Police DG MKII - Comm Games - AAP ImageThe DroneGun Tactical uses a similar design to a standard rifle, using a default stock, handgrip and trigger configuration, making it simple to train soldiers familiar with traditional weapons. It would have been possible to use a simple box and button style design, but DroneShield decided to use a more traditional layout to simplify training. Included in the deal is on-the-ground training of the system by DroneShield staff. Weighing just 6.5kg including twin Lithium-Ion batteries and with a range of up to 1km, the DroneGun Tactical uses jamming technology to disable consumer-level

drones, known as a “soft-kill device”, unlike the destructive technologies used by other anti-drone technologies on the market. Destructive defence devices currently include lasers, ballistic weapons and shockwave-technology. The DroneGun Tactical can jam devices across multiple RF band simultaneously, including 433MHz, 915MHz, 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz, and will immediately disable video feedback to the operator. It can also use optional GNSS disruption, blocking both GPS and GLONASS navigation systems. According to Mr Vornik, the jamming nature of the DroneGun gives it a distinct advantage over other technologies, as it means that each disabled drone can be retrieved and analysed. There’s also the risk of collateral damage when using destructive anti-drone technologies, especially if the drone is equipped with explosives. As a result, Mr Vornik believes these reasons proved to be a competitive advantage for DroneShield when compared to competing tenders for the deal. The DroneGun Tactical is designed to target consumer drones, as these affordable devices are now being used in a variety of roles that require active-defence measures, not only by the military, but also by private corporations. The use of these drones is primarily in counter-surveillance, but Mr Vornik also delved into other nefarious measures where today’s drones can prove to be a threat. “A drone like a DJI Phantom can easily carry two 40mm grenades, each

Profile for Asia Pacific Security Magazine

DRASTIC Issue 1 2019 - Drones & Robotics