UK becomes Rafael Drone Dome C-UAS system launch customer

The United Kingdom has ordered six counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS) from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems under a USD20 million contract, according to an announcement released by the European Tenders electronic daily (Ted). The British Army is the launch customer for the Israeli company's Drone Dome system.

UK becomes Rafael Drone Dome C UAS system launch customer 001
Rafael's Drone Dome Counter-UAS system
(Credit: Rafael)

The selection of the Drone Dome comes eight months after it was demonstrated to the UK government in January. According to Rafael, the United Kingdom is to receive the radar detection, electro-optical (EO) identification and communication jamming elements of the system, but not the hard-kill laser.

The UK Ministry of Defence has "an Urgent capability requirement (UCR) to provide a Counter unmanned air system (C-UAS) capability (Technology readiness Level 8 minimum) for UK armed forces," it said on August 10, 2018.

"The capability shall be able to detect, track, identify and defeat UAS’s with weight ranges of between 2-150 kg. With a specific area of focus on the 2-22 kg and a minimum defeat range of <500 m. The system shall be capable of handling data, and operating within an environment, classified at a minimum of NATO Secret Rel FVEY," the service added.

The Drone Dome system intercepts UAVs using laser beams. It provides 360-degree protection against UAVs 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 UAV in flight.