The British army has deployed an anti-drone system developed by Israeli government owned electronics company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. to protect London’s Gatwick airport, the “Daily Mail” reports.
Deployment of the Drone Dome ended 36-hours in which flights were unable to land or take off at Gatwick airport, due to a rogue drone intruding into the airport’s airspace, wreaking havoc with the Christmas travel plans of hundreds of thousands of British passengers. The British army bought six Drone Domes in August for $20 million and was reportedly the first overseas customer for the system.
The Drone Dome developed by Rafael provides 360-degree protection against drones at ranges of 3-5 kilometers. The system makes it possible to detect threats using radar and a signal intelligence component that monitors the signal broadcast by a drone in flight.
The advanced electro-optical sensor, regarded as the core component in the Drone Dome system, blocks the broadcasts of the threatening drone and in effect cuts communications between the drone and its operator. In such a situation, the drone becomes useless, regardless of whether or not it continues fly with no control or whether it falls to the ground and disintegrates.
The Drone Dome system intercepts drones using laser beams that burn it in flight in a few seconds. The version sold to the UK lacks the laser beam interception option because the UK demanded that it be deployed quickly and the need to comply with regulation governing the use of lasers.
The person operating the drone around Gatwick has yet to be caught and there is speculation that it might be a lone-wolf eco-warrior. Terrorism has been ruled out by the local police.
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on December 21, 2018
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