UK Tests New Anti-Drone Weapon

Written by Kathrine Frich

Jun.23 - 2024 10:21 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
The British Army is currently conducting field tests of a energy weapon

Trending Now

The British Army is currently conducting field tests of a new radio frequency-directed energy weapon (RFDEW) developed by French company Thales according to Ziare.

This cutting-edge weapon aims to offer an inexpensive solution to counter multiple drones simultaneously by disabling their electronics. The weapon could be available as early as 2025.

Thales Leads Development

Alex Cresswell, President and CEO of Thales UK, stated that the RFDEW weapon, undergoing field tests with the British Army this summer, should be ready for use "fairly quickly."

He mentioned that transitioning from successful tests in Salisbury Plain to deployment in conflict zones like Ukraine could take about a year. The decision on when and where to deploy the system will be made by the UK government.

Thales UK is leading the weapon's development as part of an industrial consortium under contract with the Ministry of Defence.

Cost-Effective and Efficient

The RFDEW system, costing only 12 cents (approximately 30 pence) per use and with a range of up to 1 kilometer, offers a cost-effective alternative to traditional missile-based anti-aircraft systems, which typically cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

This technology can be mounted on military vehicles and uses a mobile power source to generate radio frequency waves or pulses that interfere with the electronics of moving targets.

Cresswell highlighted that the defense industry has been working on countermeasures against such threats for decades.

The increased use of drones by both Russia and Ukraine since the Russian invasion has spurred significant investments in anti-drone technologies by governments and industries alike.

Meanwhile, Russia is developing a new version of its Lancet drone, called "Izdelie-53," which uses artificial intelligence to autonomously identify and select targets on the battlefield, functioning as part of a "drone swarm."