The Drone Guard Counter-Drone System, produced by ELTA Systems, a division and subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), was offered to the Gatwick Airport Authorities on Friday for immediate placement in the airport. The proposed system, which already arrived in the UK, can detect and intercept drones using low level jamming and take-over techniques. Already successfully proven in foiling several drone incursions into closed airspace during the recent G20 summit in Argentina, ELTA’s Drone Guard is globally the most sold anti-drone system for military, homeland security and civilian applications.
Gatwick airport was plunged into chaos on Wednesday night when drones spotted hovering near the runway forced hundreds of flights to be cancelled. Airlines scrambled to board passengers while the airport was reopened on Friday, but it was closed again on Friday afternoon when the drones reappeared, delaying and stranding thousands of passengers, and creating delays which rippled throughout the weekend.
With hundreds of units already operational across the world, the modular Drone Guard configuration includes an advanced compact radar system, Electro Optical (EO) system, jammer and Communication Intelligence (COMINT) system for more precise classification and unique communication protocol analysis and verification, as well as a Take-Over capability for neutralizing threats.
The system can handle threats from very short (2 KM) to long (20 KM) distances. Once a hostile drone presence is detected, the radar directs the EO system to visually identify it. After the immediate detection and classification, targets are mitigated by using different counter-measures. The system can effectively jam and disrupt the drone’s control channel and navigation, by supporting a variety of communication protocols that can ‘fend off’ a single drone (or even a swarm of drones) from the guarded premises or bring it down safely using ‘takeover’ methods.
Yoav Tourgeman, IAI VP and CEO of ELTA, said, “As we witnessed last week, the drone threat for civilian aviation is real and imminent. It can span from delays costing the aviation industry multi-million dollars, up to a mid-air collision which may tragically result in fatalities. Due to this emergency situation ELTA has stepped up and offered immediate assistance with our system, in order to preserve the safety and routine of the travelers worldwide. ”