Protecting that big, sensor-laden UAS

Unmanned air systems are being equipped with features that put them on the same level as manned platforms – and Israel, with its considerable UAS industry, is leading the way.

The Paris Air Show, which opens today, offers a glimpse of the trend – within the limits of the security apparatus guarding Israel’s secrets projects.

UAS have become larger, heavier and carry a great variety of sensors and other systems – this has created the need to protect them from all sorts of threats.

Elisra – an Elbit Systems subsidiary – has developed a self-protection electronic warfare (EW) system, designed for UAS.

The SPS-65V5 system is based on Elisra’s  vast experience in the development of EW and signals intelligence systems installed on other platforms, such as fighters, helicopters and utility aircraft. These have been in service for many years in Israel and elsewhere.

Edgar Maimon, general manager of Elisra, said the increased global use of UAS is accompanied by a growing demand for survivability, enabling protection of both the mission and the platform itself – as well as the valuable sensors carried on-board.

According to Elisra the UAS self protection system can be installed on a variety of UAS platforms.

The specific capabilities of the systems are classified, but sources say they can protect a UAS in hostile area against “a great variety of threats”.

This EW system for UAS is just one example of a fast-growing trend that will soon bring UAS closer than ever to manned aircraft.

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