DARPA seeks modular, affordable anti-drone systems

DARPA’s Mobile Force Protection (MFP) program seeks scalable, modular, and affordable approaches with small footprints in terms of size, weight, power, and number of people needed for operation. With this RFI, DARPA is not looking for end-to-end systems, but rather innovative technology components that could be combined with the MFP systems integrators’ fielded concepts. DARPA will review responses to assess technology and system relevance, potential performance capability, and technology maturity. To be considered, technologies must be sufficiently mature to perform a field demonstration planned for January 2018.

“Keeping warfighters safe from small unmanned air systems requires knowing that one or more is coming and removing their potential as a threat while they’re still at a safe distance,” said Jean-Charles Ledé, a program manager in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office (TTO).

DARPA is interested in novel technologies in two main thrust areas:

Sensing: The ability to detect numerous sUAS at a distance of 1 km or greater, have a small footprint compatible with tactical ground vehicles such as the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV or Humvee) and the U.S. Coast Guard’s Defender-class 25-foot boat, and support highly automated operations.
Neutralization: The ability to disable or destroy numerous self-guided sUAS at a distance of 1 km or greater, while ensuring low collateral damage and low cost per engagement.