Droneshield (ASX:DRO) shareholders have seen a 9.6% rise in morning trade as the company flags its pending receipt of $1.8m from the US Department of Defence in return for a shipment of Droneshield’s handheld counterdrone products.
Called the DroneGun MKIII, the product is a handheld gun-like device which fires radio frequencies at small drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) overhead. Typically, DroneGun will cause a small UAV to land on the spot, acting as something of an ‘override.’
It does this by interfering with the UAV’s internal satellite navigation tech; one benefit to a takedown of enemy drones, the company notes, allows them to be collected in the field free of damage for forensic analysis.
The ‘gun’ also disrupts video feed from the UAV back to its controller, making it harder for one party to monitor the actions of another party in the field or elsewhere.
The merits of its logistics may be the winning factor for the US DoD: the DroneGun is only 2.14kg, functionable with one hand only, and battery power packs make it highly portable.
This new contract with US Defence follows Droneshield’s inclusion into a Canberra-based panel that allows it to advertise its services in response to secretive Australian DoD contracts.
With a boosted status as a trusted manufacturer and supplier in both the US and Australia, Droneshield’s reputation is slowly growing within the broader AUKUS military sector.
The best example of Droneshield’s presence in Australian settings is its portable antenna system which can be worn as a backpack and allows troops in the field to detect nearby UAVs.
The value of such a product (and its DroneGun MKIII) has been realised recently by the war in Ukraine where small commercial drones are increasingly being modified to carry grenades or other explosive devices, a strategy known as ‘lingering munitions.’
While drone detection has military and security implications, the technology is also highly valuable in commercial airport settings.
As far back as 2018, the commercial aviation sector has been preoccupied with the risk drones pose to flight paths. Generally, these incidents are related to drone pilots attempting to take photography or footage of airport takeoffs and landings.
If a drone is sucked into a jet engine, it poses the threat of catastrophic risk to the flight. For the same reason, airports install high-value bird repellent systems, using a mix of methods depending on local geography and environment.
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