Defense

January 8, 2014

Picatinny counters unmanned aircraft system threats

Tags:
Bhavanjot Singh and Eric Kowal
Picatinny Arsenal, N.j.

A Small class Unmanned Aerial System defeated by a prototype U.S. Army “gun-launched” munition was on display before the Secretary of the Army John McHugh visited Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., in September.

As the military use of unmanned aircraft systems has increased dramatically, including by entities that may pose a threat to the United States, scientists at Picatinny Arsenal are part of the effort to counter potential threats to U.S. armed forces by such systems.

Unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, is the term to describe a far more advanced “drone” or unpiloted flying object or aircraft used to carry out a military operation.

In many cases, unmanned aircraft are used to gather intelligence with cameras and sensors, thus there is a need for the U.S. Armed Forces to have counter measures in place. Such measures may include jamming the electronics from its ground controller or shooting down the system.

The UAS challenge has grown exponentially in the last decade as the world’s inventory of unmanned aerial systems has grown from approximately 20 system types and 800 aircraft in 1999, to more than 200 system types and approximately 10,000 unmanned aircraft in 2010, said Nancy Elliott, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Army’s Fires Center of Excellence,or FCOE, at Fort Sill, Okla. The center of excellence is the Army service lead to counter unmanned aircraft system.

Elliott also said that as the worldwide proliferation of drones continues, the FCOE has produced a counter-UAS concept of operations. The document focuses on the low, slow and small UAS threat and will drive future Army efforts to develop solutions and integrate capabilities while contributing to joint efforts to counter the threat, she added.

Since 2010, the U.S. Army Armaments Research, Development and Engineering Center, known as ARDEC, at Picatinny Arsenal, has been positioning itself as a player in the close-in counter UAS mission by participating in an annual experiment to assess the Department of Defense, inter-agency and private industry capabilities in Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or C-UAS.

In 2012, ARDEC partnered with the Navy’s Office of Strategic Systems Programs and successfully demonstrated the capabilities of fire-control radar to detect, track, and characterize UASs. This information was then used to veer a remote weapon station gimbal at the threat UAS, emulating a potential defeat system.

Given the success in being able to accurately detect and track unmanned systems, in fiscal year 2013, ARDEC directed its focus on integrating the fire control radar with a variety of current weapon systems that could potentially neutralize the UAS threat.

After a System of Systems analysis, the integrated C-UAS System of Systems included three different end-to-end “kill chain” capabilities.

According to ARDEC Project Officer Hannibal People, ARDEC was proven to be successful with its effort in 2013, since the integrated System of Systems showed as a promising solution after defeating the UAS threat at two different test events.

This ability marks the first time a small class UAS has been defeated by a prototype U.S. Army “gun launched” munition using a novel warhead design.

The significance of this accomplishment is the potential to provide a single-shot, low-cost-per-kill weapon system that can function in a multi-role capability for both fixed and mobile Army platforms.

Overall, ARDEC proved the viability of its integrated close-in C-UAS capabilities and solidifying a strong foothold for ARDEC’s future in the mission space, according to People. The full C-UAS kill chain was demonstrated in a ten month span of effort. People said ARDEC is looking to continue to develop this capability to support the Warfighter’s needs.

“We recognize the need to protect dismounted Soldiers as well as combat vehicles within the BCT from inbound UAS threats” said Ted Maciuba, deputy director of the Mounted Requirements Division of the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga.

Annually, the Fires Center of Excellence plans to hold a conference for member of the counter-UAS community to address the growing challenges that unmanned systems pose to the United States and its allies.

The first such conference was held a year ago in December. At that gathering, the center introduced its operational concept to counter UAS, discussed the threat, implications to doctrine, organization, training, material development, leadership, facilities, personnel as well as the implications to the Joint Service community and the other Army centers of excellence.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Erin OĆ­Shea

U.S. Forces display military might at Farnborough

Air Force photograph by A1C Erin O’Shea Capt. Tom Meyers discusses the F-15E Strike Eagle’s capabilities with spectators July 17, 2014, at the Farnborough International Airshow in England. Public access was granted ...
 

 
raptors4

Raptors, Falcons fuel up in desert skies

Three U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., during Red Flag 14-3, Ju...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler

Sun sets on Red Flag 14-3

Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler The sun sets behind a row of F-16 Fighting Falcons during Red Flag 14-3, July 16, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Red Flag provides a series of intense air-to-air combat scenario...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Siuta B. Ika

AOC integral to Red Flag 14-3 operations

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Siuta B. Ika Members of the Air and Space Operations Center work during Red Flag 14-3 operations July 22, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Armed with personnel from intelligence and communicati...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>