AUSA 2017: Leonardo leads the fight against UAS threat

AUSA 2017: Leonardo leads the fight against UAS threat

By Beth Maundrill,

October 11, 2017 -- Under an urgent requirement for the US Army Leonardo DRS has been awarded a $42 million contract for a counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS).

More on this C-UAS announcement

The C-UAS will comprise of two MRAP all-terrain vehicles, a Reconfigurable Integrated-weapons Platform (RIwP) turret from Moog and a mast-mounted Surveillance and Battlefield Reconnaissance Equipment (SABRE) EO/IR sensor from DRS. Additional government equipment will also be included, such as a masted radar and EW system.

Speaking to Shephard, Ed House, business development manager at Leonardo DRS, said that ‘The solution will be delivered in summer 2018.’

Leonardo DRS is the lead systems integrator and work will be performed at its site in St Louis.

Leonardo is partnering with Moog to offer the RIwP but the kinetic defeat segment of the solution is still under competition with Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station as the other contender. This is likely be selected at the end of October 2017 and will commence testing in January 2018, according to House.

‘We are currently in the first engineering test phase in Yuma, the January testing will be test two,’ he explained.

The RIwP composed of the 30mm proximity round and would be used for short range defeat of group one and two UAS. DRS will also be integrating an air to air defeat capability which will be composed of a small UAS and will act against long range threats.

House said that the programme office currently has a requirement to transition this into a programme of record.

The recently production contract was awarded as part of the US Army’s Mobile Low, Slow Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Integrated Defense System, Increment 1 effort.

The current threat the army is experiencing comes primarily from group one and two UAS which are being employed as flying IEDs.

Additionally, the RIwP meets the mobile shore range air defence requirements against larger aerial threats when it includes a Stinger missile.

Leonardo DRS already has examples of its SABRE solution on Stryker vehicles which are currently undergoing testing in Eastern Europe.