Yes, it’s large for a gun — 56 inches long, 18 inches tall and 8 inches wide.
And it looks like something out of a Star Wars movie.
But it weighs just 16 pounds loaded with two rechargeable 14.4V lithium battery packs, and, there’s no heavy accompanying backpack, like you would need with a flamethrower.
And yeah, it’s lethal.
Using radiofrequency (RF) jamming to disrupt operator links, it can drop drones more than a kilometer away. You just need to maintain line of sight.
Power wise, you should get an hour or two of straight jamming, more than enough to take down a dozen UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles).
We’re speaking, of course, about the new “DroneGun Tactical,” a lightweight robust rifle style design made by Australian company DroneShield.
DroneGun Tactical — a refined, more portable version of its predecessor, the “DroneGun MKII” — provides a safe countermeasure against a wide range of UAV threats to various armed forces.
How effective is this new counter-drone/drone swarm weapon?
According to a company press release, combined elements of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and PHISGOC Games Safety & Security Counter-Drone Team from Safer PH Innovations (DroneShield’s Philippines partner) successfully disabled seven commercial drones during the Opening Ceremony of the 30th Southeast Asian Games held in Philippine Arena, Ciudad de Victoria, on 30th November 2019.
Four of the nefarious drones simultaneously appeared along the flight path of the Presidential helicopter minutes before his arrival which prompted the PSG to deploy the DroneShield systems to prevent the drones from hitting the rotor blades of the helicopter and causing a catastrophic crash that would endanger the life of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.
Drones have previously been used in the past in assassination attempts on world leaders, as was the case in 2018 when a drone exploded in the air above Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro as he gave a speech in front of a large crowd, War Zone reported.
More recently, Belgian security forces wielding a combination of handheld anti-drone weapons — including the DroneGun Tactical — to protect a high-level meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and King Philippe of Belgium held on Monday, June 14 at the nation’s capital of Brussels.
The other weapon seen carried by the Belgian Federal Police appears to be a Skywall Patrol made by UK-based OpenWorks Engineering, War Zone reported.
OpenWorks describe the gun as a “handheld drone capture system” that uses compressed air to fire nets or a combination net-and-parachute round at hostile drones.
DroneShield lists the US Army, US Air Force, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the US Department of State and the Five Eyes intelligence group among its customers, War Zone reported.
According to DroneShield’s press release, while the new model retains the same 2.4Ghz/5.8Ghz ISM antennae of previous guns, there is now an added GNSS antenna boasting 433MHz and 915 MHz frequencies, an intuitive user interface, and a more ergonomic grip for better, more functional use, War Zone reported.
If there’s a drone that requires higher targeting, there’s even a secondary angled grip that allows users to wield the Tactical more practically.
But if you’re thinking of buying one, it’s not going to happen.
The FCC hasn’t approved the device for use in the US, meaning it’s illegal to operate one unless you’re an authorized agent of the government (for example, someone testing it for the military).
DroneShield has a market capitalization of around US$69 million.
Recently, the company received a 2-year defence contract with a Five Eyes country. The term “Five Eyes” relates to a signals alliance between the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand.
The deal, valued at about US$3.8 million, represents ongoing commitments from government agencies, which have sought DroneShield products in the past.
roneShield CEO Oleg Vornik said, “This contract is testament to the world-leading capabilities of the DroneShield team.”
Sources: The War Zone, TechCrunch.com, DroneDJ.com, The Market Herald, DroneShield, The Motley Fool