Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Iron Drone announced on June 29 that they have signed a collaboration agreement for the integration of interception capabilities into IAI’s advanced anti-drone system, Drone Guard. The intercepting drone can be launched during day or night from a docking station that hosts several ready-to-use drones. Several intercepting drones can be launched simultaneously to address several targets or swarms.
To date, IAI’s ELTA Systems, which develops and manufactures Drone Guard, has sold over 100 units that detect, identify, and disrupt the operation of malicious drones. ELTA’s collaboration with Iron Drone is part of its strategy to collaborate with startups to leverage their innovative technologies for their existing systems to improve performance. ELTA is a global leader in remote sensing and radar systems. Its product portfolio includes mission aircraft, national cybersecurity administration, ground robotic systems, anti-drone systems, homeland defense systems, and more, IAI said.
Zvi Yarom, general manager of ELTA’s Land Systems Division, said, “The collaboration agreement and the integration of interception capabilities in IAI’s Drone Guard create a specialized solution for a broad range of threats. Drone Guard represents ELTA’s extensive know-how and experience in radars, intelligence, and AI combined with Iron Drone’s unique kinetic interception solution. The integration has been tried, proven, and demonstrated in several pilots and is now being marketed to customers. Drone Guard is one of a full suite of solutions offered by ELTA’s Land Systems facility under construction in Beer Sheba at an investment of over NIS 100 million. It will help IAI build innovative technological infrastructures and implement R&D for novel land applications.”
Matan Melamed, CEO of Iron Drone, said, “The strategic collaboration with IAI’s ELTA Systems is a significant milestone for Iron Drone. The combination of Drone Guard’s advanced capabilities with Iron Drone’s steering and homing excellence result in a significant business and technological venture.”
The advanced radar integrated with Drone Guard is capable of detecting drones as they enter the airspace. The intercepting drone is launched and steered to the target with the help of the radar. It uses sensors and advanced computer vision to identify and lock onto the target, and then carries out the interception by physically hitting the attacker and neutralizing it. The entire process is autonomous, requiring no human intervention. The combination of the anti-drone system and interception allows IAI to offer its customers the most effective technology for addressing future scenarios, positioning the company at the forefront of the technology. The solution can be used in areas such as airports, populated areas, power plants, sensitive facilities, and other infrastructure, where other defense systems cannot be used because of environmental factors, according to IAI.
The use of drones has increased significantly in recent years. Besides their use for legitimate purposes, there is a growing trend of the use of drones by terror and crime organizations. Due to their small size and slow, low altitude flight, drones pose a threat to sensitive facilities, mass gatherings, VIPs, and other aircraft, as well as to other aspects of homeland defense. Drones can also be used for other purposes such as intelligence collection, smuggling, and even carrying ammunition. Hence the need for a multi-layer, integrated solution that provides full protection against all types of threats.