ORCUS counter-drone technology is part of the RAF’s SYNERGIA research and development program. (Crown copyright)

U.K. C-UAS Program Achieves Initial Operating Capability

Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) is a step closer in bringing its ORCUS technology into force, which can jam radio signals from drones and has already been successfully deployed during drone sightings at airports.

Typhoon aircraft will be equipped with next-generation radar thanks to a new £317 million investment that will allow it to locate, identify and suppress enemy air defenses using high-powered jamming.

The integration of the new European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mk2, which is based on Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology, will provide a capability edge in the increasingly contested battlespace.

Currently fitted with mechanically-scanning radar, the Typhoon is designed to be continuously upgraded to meet operational demand. The ECRS Mk2 will allow the aircraft to simultaneously detect, identify and track multiple targets in the air and on the ground in the most challenging environments.

The Royal Air Force’s SYNERGIA counter-drone research and development program has also reached a significant milestone with the ORCUS counter-drone capability achieving initial operating capability (IOC). IOC was achieved after ORCUS completed successful testing of a full range of integrated detect, track, ID, and defeat technologies.

ORCUS will enable the RAF to evaluate a range of capabilities including advanced radar, electro-optic and radio frequency sensors, plus an electronic attack countermeasure. The technology is part of the RAF’s Counter-Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) research and development program with Leonardo to establish the most effective way to detect, track, identify and defeat hostile drones.

Elements of Leonardo’s C-UAS equipment played a supporting role in RAF Force Protection in 2018 and 2019, following drone sightings at Gatwick and Heathrow airports, allowing airport operations to resume.

Read more at the Ministry of Defence

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