Italian passive radar changes the principle of countering UAVs

ROME, (BM) – Italy is focusing its efforts on developing a passive radar that will detect which drone is carrying a bomb in a swarm of drones. The Italian company Leonardo has taken on this task, and the information was provided by a representative of the company quoted by Defense News.

Unlike many ordinary radars (bounce a signal from an observed object), Leonardo’s passive radar must deflect the radio signal from the practical thing to be intercepted. According to the Italians, this radar can be helpful for the defense of large and medium-sized settlements, where there is an abundance of radio antennas, television, and mobile phones.

Leonardo’s passive radar should also have a more intelligent algorithm, say the company, which will allow a more apparent distinction between the two objects – such as a seagull and a drone. In the future, this will enable radar system operators to detect which of all the drones in the swarm is armed and to attack it.

“Laboratory tests with passive radar as a way to identify drones have been positive,” a Leonardo employee was quoted as saying by Defense News.

Passive radar eliminates the autonomy of drones

The Italian military believes that the technology developed in passive radar is the future for the interception and destruction of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Leonardo realized that as the development of drone technology progressed, their autonomy became greater. All this means less and less radio or electronic broadcasting, making it difficult to “capture” them with today’s technology.

According to the Italians, the process is interconnected. Better power supply for drones is a prerequisite for better, faster, and better data processing.

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“In the future, we could see kamikaze drones targeting radar, like an anti-radiation missile. That means the radar you use has to be harder to spot by a drone. We are working on radars that use reduced power, change frequency constantly and transmit intermittently,” the italian experts said.

Italy sees a future in lasers but is waiting

The Italian military believes that using microwave weapons or lasers to fight drones is the future of successful countermeasures against them. According to Colonel Salvatore Lombardi, tests of similar kinetic technologies will take place in October this year among NATO member states. Lombardi is the Air Force UAV’s Center of Excellence at Amendola Air Base, southern Italy, and the tests will take place in Italy.

However, according to Italian Colonel Luca Urso, at the moment, the Italian army remains the existing counter-drone counter-use – the use of various ACUS systems that jam the enemy’s radio frequency and GPS.

The principle of operation of ACUS systems is based on a radio frequency detector that senses the electronic commands of the enemy drone and thus issues it.


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