Anti-drone tech manufacturer DroneShield just received approval from U.S. regulators for a $3.2 million order comprised of 70 DroneGun Tactical units for an unidentified Middle Eastern Ministry of Defense, according to a press release. With a portable, all-encompassing solution to potentially dangerous rogue drones in the new and refined DroneGun Tactical, the Australian company may have just firmly established itself as the go-to service for those in need of preventative unmanned aerial vehicle measures.
In a world with ever-increasing hobby drone affordability, and growing concerns regarding how easy it is to turn an off-the-shelf UAV into a tool for criminal, smuggling or terrorist activities, the anti-drone industry has garnered noticeable prominence in the past two years.
Last June, we included the DroneGun in our comprehensive list of the most significant anti-drone tech in both military and civilian sectors, and we were fairly impressed. Early days saw a substantial portion of counter-UAV measures rely on shooting ballistics at the vehicles in order to down them, with the more high-tech, military counterparts utilizing lasers. DroneShield wisely decided to split the difference, and opt for Global Navigation Satellite System positioning to target its subjects and signal-jamming to ground them.
In March, the Queensland Police Service in Australia decided to use DroneGuns as part of security for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and even downed a drone entering the “aerial exclusion zone” during the events. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen visited the U.S.-Canada border in North Dakota last month to understand drone smuggling between the countries more clearly. As The Drive’s Tyler Rogoway laid out in his in-depth piece of the potential dangers of sophisticated UAV tech and its affordability, the fears of unmanned aerial vehicles are no longer hypothetical, but rather, have been a long time coming.
For DroneShield CEO Oleg Vornik, of course, the regulatory approval here is a momentous occasion for the company. By getting the official go-ahead to deliver an order worth several millions of dollars it isn’t just a sign of how much notoriety the company has garnered in the industry. Rather, it’s about how the need for unmanned aerial protection is increasing for governmental bodies around the globe.
While the company's press release doesn't specify which Middle Eastern country purchased the 70 DroneGun Tactical units, it does state that some of its products require regulatory approval even when the buyer is an ally of the United States. Additionally, this approved delivery marks not only DroneShield's largest shipment to date, but the largest known shipment of anti-drone tech in the entire industry's nascent lifespan. In terms of rogue drones encroaching on governmental properties in the Middle East, we have seen incidents in the past that support the need for anti-drone tech in the region.
“This regulatory approval represents an important step in DroneShield’s history with a green light to deliver on our first multi-million dollar order,” said Vornik. “With the company’s near term pipeline containing multiple multi-million dollar potential orders, this clearance gives us and our customers the confidence that we will be able to deliver our industry-leading products to a wide range of qualified end-users.”