Engineering 101

Mobile Force Protection Program Concludes—Drone vs. Stringy Streamers

Recently the DARPA Mobile Force Protection (MFP) program demonstrated a Counter-Unmanned Air System (C-UAS) multilayer defense architecture at Eglin Air Force Base. The goal—to defeat unauthorized drone intrusions over military installations or operations. The low-cost reusable drone interceptor system program started four years ago to thwart attacks from self-guided small-unmanned aircraft on high value convoys moving through populated regions when explosive defensive weapons cannot be used.

The demonstration was successfully in neutralizing tactically relevant drones using new X-band radar that automatically senses and identifies unmanned aerial system threats. The radar pairs targets to specific interceptors through an automated decision engine tied to a command, and control system and launches rotary and fixed wing interceptors with two types of drone countermeasures while moving, and without operator intervention.

The primary drone negation mechanism shoots strong, stringy streamers from reusable interceptors that interfere with propellers causing loss of propulsion. The development of an integrated solution of sensors, autonomy, and mitigation solutions was more robust than existing systems. Dynetics was the primary systems integrator.

Original Release: DARPA

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