The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected three teams to develop new technology to protect ground and maritime convoys against small, unmanned aircraft systems (sUASs), as part of Mobile Force Protection (MFP) programme.
The MFP programme aims to develop flexible and mobile defence systems and component technologies to improve real-time protection of ground and maritime convoys against various sUAS threats and tactics.
Led by Dynetics, Saab Defense and Security USA and SRC, the teams were awarded Phase I agreements for MFP to develop a technology that is capable of detecting, identifying, tracking and neutralising adversary sUASs including fixed or rotary-wing aircraft.
DARPA Tactical Technology Office (TTO) programme manager Jean-Charles Ledé said: “Each team will now work to integrate novel ideas for advanced sensors and neutralisation approaches into a common framework emphasising safety for civilian bystanders, ease of operation, and low size, weight, power, and cost.
“Our goal is a technology demonstration system that could fit onto currently deployed tactical ground vehicles and maritime vessels – getting advanced and upgradeable capabilities quickly to the warfighters who need them.”
The US Army’s maneuver aviation and fires integration application (MAFIA) service-oriented architecture has been chosen as the common framework for the data-fusion engine, decision-aid algorithms, and user interface for the teams’ command and control (C2) software.
MAFIA, which is already being used in several Defense Department (DoD) programmes, is said to support multiple operating systems and provide services, libraries, common applications, and a software development kit for performer integration.
The MFP’s plug-and-play, technology demonstration system is anticipated to have the ability to integrate new sensors and emerging technologies.
Image: DARPA aims to develop new technologies to improve real-time protection of ground and maritime convoys against sUAS threats and tactics. Photo: courtesy of DARPA.