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New Sheriff in the Skies: DroneHunter Takes Down Its Own Kind Using Kinetic Energy

With a net-like weapon.

New Sheriff in the Skies: DroneHunter Takes Down Its Own Kind Using Kinetic Energy
The DroneHunter. Fortem Technologies

DroneHunter, a drone built by Fortem Technologies, hunts down other drones as its name suggests.

DroneHunter is an AI-enabled, radar-guided drone that locks onto its target, fires a net, captures the threatening drone, and tows it to a safe deposit location. The DroneHunter results in little to no collateral damage since it's kinetic and non-lethal.

Jim Housinger, vice-president of program management at Fortem Technologies told Janes that, after a series of evaluations with the U.S. Army, an operational assessment of DroneHunter’s system was ready and the software update between the two tests enabled the company to make some changes that the army had requested in order to tighten up our targeting algorithms and added that the latest test had a higher performance rate than the previous test.

DroneHunter has successfully defeated a range of rotary- and fixed-wing unmanned ‘Group 1' aerial vehicles (UAV) which are small systems with a maximum weight of 20 lbs (9.1 kg), during a recent U.S. Army test in Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. 

DroneHunter, fully integrated with the Army’s Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control (FAAD C2) system, performed completely autonomously from queuing through launch, intercept, and capture of the threat drones, depositing them in a safe designated drop zone and landing.

DroneHunter successfully accepted command and engagement orders in the test. Using radar queuing from various radars in the Army’s Fixed Site Low, Slow, Small Unmanned Aircraft System Integrated Defeat System (FS-LIDS), DroneHunter successfully engaged and negated targets.

During the test, DroneHunter engaged with fixed-wing and rotary-wing targets of various speeds, size, altitude, and flight characteristics at operationally significant ranges with a high Probability of Kill (Pk). Fortem has partnered closely with the Army’s Integrated Fires/Rapid Capabilities Office for the past two years as part of their systems' approach to counter-UAS. DroneHunter provides a significant enhancement to the overall counter-UAS solution.

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“This test is further proof that the Fortem DroneHunter is capable of defeating UAS threats in a rigorous operational environment,” stated VP of Program Management at Fortem Technologies James Housinger in a press release after the test. “With full integration into FAAD C2, operators can employ DroneHunter as a defensive weapon against a wide range of small UAS threats - threats which are one of the top concerns of U.S. Combatant Commanders in multiple areas of responsibility. The system's 24/7 readiness for immediate employment day or night, or in restricted visibility without the need for a pilot, makes it an extremely effective tool against those threats,” he continued.

Nowadays we see many novel drones, designed in various shapes and sizes and for various purposes. As the unmanned aerial vehicles crowd the skies, anti-drone measures, such as prohibiting some places, are taken. And when necessary anti-drone technologies are used to prevent nosy drones. Some anti-drone technologies include shooting the unwanted drone down with a shotgun.

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