The U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory has awarded a contract to Sensofusion to “further develop” the company’s Airfence system, which is designed to counter unmanned aircraft systems, the Finland-based firm announced April 25.
Partnered with the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), the Marine lab will experiment with Airfence and develop tactics, techniques and procedures, Sensofusion said.
By picking up radio communications between UAS and their operators, Airfence can automatically detect, find and track UAS and take over their controls, according to Sensofusion. The system also can locate operators.
“Given the proliferation of commercially-available UAS and the increasingly dangerous threat they pose, a force-protection capability like that provided by Airfence will be an essential part of any integrated air defense system for the foreseeable future,” said Maj. J.B. Persons of the Marine lab. “We are eager to get this capability into experimentation and transition it to the operating forces as quickly as possible.”
Airfence is a backpack-portable system already deployed in Europe at international airports, military bases, government buildings, police stations and prisons. In the United States, Airfence is one of a host of systems being evaluated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Homeland Security for airport protection.