07 Dec 2017

QinetiQ Target Systems demonstrate multi-rotor drone threat

QinetiQ Target Systems has demonstrated the threat posed by small multi-rotor drones to large naval vessels at the behest of the Royal Canadian Navy.

A live demonstration involving a Halifax Class frigate took place in early November with QinetiQ Target Systems (QTS) at the helm as part of a previously awarded C$8.5M Unmanned Targets Repair, Overhaul and Engineering contract.

QTS flew its very own Snyper multi-rotor drone alongside a Lockheed Martin Indago quadcopter via QinetiQ’s Universal Target Control Station (UTCS), which allows for the operation of multiple unmanned systems from a single command centre.

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has operated fixed wing aerial and marine surface targets using QinetiQ’s UTCS for 20 years or more, but the introduction of rotary wing targets is a first for the service.

According to Peter Longstaff, Managing Director of QTS: “Commercially available technologies, like off-the-shelf drones, are becoming more advanced and more accessible to those who wish to use them to cause harm.

“QinetiQ simulates these new and emerging threats to help the armed forces understand how to protect their people and assets. This is part of our global strategy to modernise test and evaluation by introducing innovative and advanced capabilities that help nations maintain their advantage over potential adversaries.

“In Canada, we are committed to supporting the Department of National Defence in achieving its vision of being strong at home, secure in North America, and engaged in the world.”

Simon Nadeau, DNR-2 Unmanned Systems Section Head Commander at RCN, added: “The information and results obtained during the demonstration are vital for the RCN’s development of remotely piloted systems use at sea, and the evaluation of ships’ critical defence systems.

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