The British army will be the first customer for Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.'s Drone Dome system. The system will be used to protect sensitive facilities and sites on which British forces are deployed from drones. Several of the systems will be purchased in the coming months.
Rafael, which has been displaying the capabilities it has developed in neutralizing and intercepting drones, won a tender published by the UK Ministry of Defense in competition with Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1) subsidiary Elta and Italian company Leonardo. Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT), which also entered the tender, withdrew from it shortly before it was closed.
Under the contract with the UK Ministry of Defense, which is believed to be worth $20 million, Rafael will supply six drone interception systems during a six-month period.
The Drone Dome developed by Rafael provides 360-degree protection against drones at ranges of 3-5 kilometers. The system makes it possible to detect threats using radar and a signal intelligence component that monitors the signal broadcast by a drone in flight.
The advanced electro-optical sensor, regarded as the core component in the Drone Dome system, blocks the broadcasts of the threatening drone and in effect cuts communications between the drone and its operator. In such a situation, the drone becomes useless, regardless of whether or not it continues fly with no control or whether it falls to the ground and disintegrates.
The Drone Dome system intercepts drones using laser beams that burn it in flight in a few seconds.
The version to be sold to the UK lacks the laser beam interception option because the UK demanded that it be deployed quickly and the need to comply with regulation governing the use of lasers.
A source at Rafael familiar with the UK deal told "Globes" that the company had attained the necessary capabilities in this area and that future deals for the Drome Dome would include the laser interception feature.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 16, 2018
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