Novel counter-UAS system trialed by DARPA, gets green light to roll out to servicesNews
June 10, 2021
ARLINGTON, Va. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) -- the research and development section of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) tasked with finding innovative solutions to often-intractable problems -- has unveiled a new counter-unmanned aerial system (c-UAS) designed to protect high-value convoys on the move.
The DARPA c-UAS system, known as Mobile Force Protection (MFP), launches a drone to intercept other small unmanned aerial systems (sUASs). The drone sprays a mysterious, disabling pink material made up of strong, stringy streamers (or what Popular Mechanics termed "weird pink stuff") that disables the hostile drone and forces it to crash.
In recent tests at Eglin Air Force Base, the MFP demonstrator successfully neutralized tactically-relevant drones using a newly-developed X-band radar that automatically senses and identifies UAS threats; the radar matches targets with specific interceptors through an automated decision engine tied to a command-and-control system that is able to launch and guide rotary- and fixed-wing interceptors with two types of drone countermeasures while on the move and without operator intervention.
“Because we were focusing on protecting mobile assets, the program emphasized solutions with a small footprint in terms of size, weight, and power,” said MFP program manager Gregory Avicola, who works in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office. “This also allows for more affordable systems and less operators.”
Dynetics was the primary systems integrator for the MFP project. DARPA will now work with the military services to roll out technology developed in the MFP project into various acquisition programs.
To see the MFP system in action, view DARPA's video here.