The U.S. Air Force is looking into the buy of Dronebuster 3 jammers by Portland, Ore.-based Flex Force Enterprises for the Air Force District of Washington (AFDW) at Joint Base Andrews, Md.
Flex Force said in February that it had fielded the 1,000 Dronebusters since production began in 2017. The lightweight battery-powered Dronebuster 3 jammer is to allow units and personnel to disrupt drone navigation and pick up drone command and control, telemetry and video messages.
AFDW said in a business notice on Apr. 12 that the 316th Contracting Squadron is conducting a market survey of small businesses able to provide the Dronebuster 3.
“Interested sources shall indicate whether they are capable of providing the subject requirement, how long after issuance of a purchase order would it take to complete the requirement, and furthermore indicate their size and status,” the notice said.
AFDW said that the 5.5 pound Dronebuster 3 is “a cost-effective CUAS [counter unmanned aircraft system] tool that can defeat Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) drone threats” through handheld use or a perimeter security system and that Dronebuster “is the only handheld electronic attack system authorized by the U.S. Department of Defense.”
The functions of Dronebuster 3 would be combating COTS and defeating drone threats as they approach Joint Base Andrews and “during Principal movements,” per the business notice.
Air Mobility Command’s 89th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Andrews includes Air Force One and provides airlift, logistics and communications support for senior U.S. officials, including the president and vice president.
Small drones are a concern for U.S. military commanders abroad as well.
Last year, the then-head of U.S. Central Command, Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, said that the small UAS threat from Iran and non-state actors was a top concern for him (Defense Daily, Apr. 27, 2021).
Radar and signals intelligence for detecting launches of small drones, as well as non-kinetic–such as electro-magnetic jamming and kinetic attack, will help counter the small drone threat, McKenzie said, adding that he sees “10 to 15 promising programs” in the U.S.’ counter UAS arena that may neck down to an integrated approach, if the latter does not slow down fielding.