What does it take to stop a dangerous drone in the battlespace or civil airspace? At Farnborough Airshow, Raytheon showcased advanced technologies it is developing to counter attacks by unmanned aerial systems (UAS), including mobile high-energy lasers and microwaves, control-hijacking technology and armed, swarming drones to protect personnel, forward operating bases and infrastructure.
The US Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) recently awarded Lockheed Martin a $26.3m contract to design, develop and produce an aircraft-mounted high-power fibre laser. It forms one part of the Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) programme, which aims to demonstrate the ability of an airborne protective laser system by 2021. Berenice Baker speaks to Lockheed Martin about the significance of the programme.