Well, you don’t see this every day: A drone gun, in the wild.
There are a lot of different types of drone guns out there, but they all serve a single purpose: To disable a drone. That can mean taking it out of the sky with a net, or disrupting the Command and Control (C2) link between the drone and its operator. Some automated systems we’ve seen in military applications (typically mounted on a ship with electronics guiding the weapon) even use lasers to simply burn a hole in the drone.
Most, however, work by interfering with – or even commandeering – the C2 signal.
As we reported prior to the recent G7 Summit, authorities closed the skies around Cornwall to all but essential air travel. And that meant a massive chunk of airspace that was closed to drones as well. That whole area highlighted in blue? No drones.
Why the concern?
Well, it’s kind of obvious. When you’ve got the leaders of the world’s economic powers in one place at one time, no one really wants drones of unknown origin and with unknown intent flying into the area. Though rare, consumer and Enterprise drones have been converted to carry grenades and other small explosive charges, dropping them remotely once the drone is positioned over its target. (DJI, in fact, changed up some of its GeoFencing to prevent this from happening in Syria.)
So it’s understandable why those running security would want to ensure that the G7 was indeed a “No Drone Zone.”
But the G7 wasn’t the only event where security was keeping its collective eye on the sky. Right after the G7 ended, President Biden flew to Belgium for another meeting.
We know for sure these devices were in use when Biden visited for a meeting with King Philippe Monday. Members of the Belgium Federal Police were carrying not one – but two different kinds of drone counter-measure guns. You’ll want to click through to the full photo:
What we don’t see here is who took the photo, as we do like to credit images like these. We even searched for authorship through Tineye.com, which usually comes back with a hit. Nada:
A closer look
With apologies to the uncredited photog, let’s take a closer look. It’s really quite a great photo.
The officer on the left is carrying a device that shoots nets to entangle and disable drones; the officer in the middle is brandishing another gun that works by disruption. It’s the DroneGun Tactical, made by DroneShield. Here’s how the company describes it on its website:
The DroneGun Tactical is a highly effective UAS countermeasure designed for two hand operation and long range defeat. The product includes high performance directional antennas in a lightweight robust rifle style design; featuring an intuitive control panel user interface to select and engage the range of jamming frequencies for target defeat. The DroneGun Tactical provides a safe countermeasure against a wide range of UAS threats (e.g. drones), with no damage to common UAS models or surrounding environment.
Wait, there’s more
And there is. Since we’re talking about drone countermeasures, we figured we’d toss in the Cerbair Chimera.
It’s also, as you can see, a pretty serious looking piece of technology. Expect to see more of these devices at events requiring high security from drones.
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