The Nato Communications and Information (NCI) Agency has conducted Nato’s live-testing counter-uncrewed aircraft systems (C-UAS) exercise Technical Interoperability 2022 (TIE22).

The exercise took place in Vredepeel, the Netherlands.

It was hosted in collaboration with the Netherlands Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Held between 13 and 23 September, the counter-drone exercise included more than 250 participants along with 90 visitors.

According to NCI Agency, the objective of this exercise is to address the airspace security challenges.

TIE22 supports NCI Agency’s efforts to assess and develop machine learning (ML) and AI-based counter-UAS technologies that can detect unauthorised drones to safeguard the airspace of Nato allied and partner nations.

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Similar technologies were tested during the latest iteration of the exercise.

The exercise involved more than 30 companies and organisations demonstrating the capability of their C-UAS systems during the live testing scenarios.

The drills undertaken were supported by several agency experts and participants, who worked in close coordination to maintain technical interoperability standards between the commercial C-UAS systems.

Leveraging the experience from TIE21, two drone-detecting prototypes were also deployed to help NCI Agency understand the commercial technology and see if it can support Nato’s evolving requirements.

The prototypes included a modified version of ARTEMIS and a Drone IDentification System (DroIDs).

NCI Agency Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) counter-drone activities lead Dr Cristian Coman said: “DroIDs is the Agency’s prototype and it uses ML technologies to detect and identify drones without extracting features manually.

“Through the new innovations tested at this exercise, the Agency sends the message of TIE22 – that C-UAS’s shall be integrated with existing air defence in order to guarantee Nato’s airspace remains safe.”