The latest update to the Unmanned Airspace directory of counter-UAS technology shows the growing dominance of U.S. industry in this sector – especially in areas such as directed energy weapons research and deployment – partnership trends between niche providers of detection and mitigation systems and the emergence of new industries from Turkey and China. The U.K., Israel, France, Germany then Russia have the most prolific and varied C-UAS industrial bases outside of the U.S. India has the smallest C-UAS industry of all major drone-operating countries.
The survey focuses on technologies that are available in the open market and research programs in the public domain – so the industrial capabilities of countries such as China, Russia, North Korea and Iran are unlikely to be fully represented in the directory.
Many of the new systems listed incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to reduce false positives to a minimum – a key issue with first generation systems – and help jam swarms of hostile UASs. AI also allows kinetic mitigation systems – such as C-UAS drones and intelligent munitions – to communicate with each other in flight. While AI will undoubtedly be vital in combating threats from drones whose physical coordinates and electronic signatures have been catalogued and input into a threat database, its use against home-built or entirely new designs is still uncertain, especially if they fly pre-programmed routes and do not rely on global navigation satellite systems.