The U.S. Navy’s exotic M80 Stiletto experimental testbed ship has successfully completed a six-week demonstration of an automated 360-degree detect-and-defeat anti-drone system. The demonstration saw the M80 go up against “drone swarms” and what has been described as “a wide range of unmanned robotic threats.” The combination of the Navy’s one-of-a-kind littoral vessel and an automated anti-drone system highlights the increasingly significant threat that lower-end unmanned systems pose to naval operations and may point to these systems becoming more common aboard surface ships.
The anti-drone system tested aboard the Stiletto was the DroneSentry-X manufactured by Australia-based defense contractor DroneShield. In their July 2021 newsletter, DroneShield claims the system tested aboard the Stiletto “demonstrated overall detection capability, detection and defeat ranges, on-the-move operation in various sea states, and effectiveness against drone swarms, involving a wide range of unmanned robotic threats.” The exact nature of the “swarms” in these tests is unknown, meaning it’s not clear if an actual networked, autonomous drone swarm was the threat in question or if the tests were conducted against multiple drones simultaneously. Read more