L3Harris’ counter drone system to protect critical national infrastructure in the UK

Detecting, tracking and defeating drone threats is a complex problem for which no single sensor or defeat solution has been shown to provide reliable performance across the full range of required operational environments.

However, L3Harris is pioneering a different approach that deploys a sensor agnostic capability providing the ability to utilize a range of world-class vendors to build a complete picture of the operating area.

The technology is now being deployed at a secure facility in the U.K. to provide dependable detection and neutralisation of malicious activity by unmanned aerial systems.

Dr Brian Shand, Chief Engineer and CTO at L3Harris in Fleet, Hampshire, said: “The system utilises proven multi-sensor correlation techniques and is underpinned by core command and control software and electronic warfare countermeasures developed over many years and is proven to meet the most demanding military and operational requirements of the ground-based air defence and EW domains.”

The counter-UAS system can comprise of any combination of quantity and capability of sensors, all connected to a unified command software. This attribute of the system ensures future-proofing; allowing for new and improved sensor and effector technologies to be integrated easily.

L3Harris worked with sensor solutions from Qinetiq, Rinicom and CRFS to develop the instance of the system being deployed to provide 24/7 protection at the undisclosed facility in the U.K.

Dr Shand explains: “The user-interface has been designed specifically with the operator in mind to enable flexible configuration, whether that be in a fixed location or installed in a vehicle, to provide accurate and timely situational awareness for fast, decisive action.
“We have also been able to minimise the requirement for specialist training and means the system can be ‘always on’. Our intention has always been to make this the most user-friendly, yet sophisticated, counter-drone defence system in the world.”

Further recognition of the system’s capabilities recently came in the form of an official rating by the U.K.’s Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, the government agency responsible for providing security advice to businesses and organisations across national infrastructure services and installations.

Developing scalable and modular systems to meet the ever-evolving security challenges from a broad spectrum of adversaries has been a life’s work for Dr Shand.

“With the rollout of our tech at this facility I’m proud that we are front and center in the fight against malicious drone use to attack and disrupt our national security and ultimately our way of life.”
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