A key player in the drone countermeasure market has scored a victory with a new military contract that could help win the war against ISIS.
In partnership with the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, the U.S. Marine Corps awarded a contract earlier this month to anti-drone firm Sensofusion. The Finnish company made headlines earlier this year when the FAA announced a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with Sensofusion, Gryphon Sensors and Liteye Systems to deploy drone-sensor prototypes at key American airports.
The company will launch its AIRFENCE system to protect mobile convoys from the threat of potentially weaponized drones that could be wielded by insurgent groups such as ISIS. The system automatically detects, locates, tracks and neutralizes rogue drones. According to a Sensofusion press release, AIRFENCE boasts “external detection capabilities that empower the hardware to collect evidence immediately and transmit to learning platforms, which allows for future detection of rogue UAS.”
“Given the proliferation of commercially-available UAS and the increasingly dangerous threat they pose, a force protection capability like that provided by AIRFENCE will be an essential part of any integrated air defense system for the foreseeable future,” Marine Corps Major J.B. Persons of the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory said in a statement. “We are eager to get this capability into experimentation and transition it to the operating forces as quickly as possible.”
The company currently deploys the system in major cities to help law enforcement protect VIPs. “[It’s] a good fit to protect American dignitaries, including high ranking U.S. officials such as [the] President and his cabinet,” said Kaveh H. Mahdavi, Sensofusion VP of Operations. He added that AIRFENCE currently protects “some of the highest-ranking government officials in the world.”
“It is our intent to position AIRFENCE as the go-to hardware/software of choice for protecting U.S. troops, government officials, and civilians.”
Sensofusion’s military deal is the latest in a string of contracts issued to anti-drone companies.
In February, Liteye is partnered with IT provider Tribalco, a “mission-critical” IT/telecommunications service to deliver the Anti-UAV Defense System to U.S. military agencies. The two firms concluded an 18-month evaluation by the Defense Department and said the trial “exceeded the mission requirements, simultaneously providing ground and air surveillance against possible threats.