FORT SILL, Okla., — Advancements have been made to the Hunter and Killer platforms which provide Soldiers with counter unmanned aerial system capabilities (C-UAS). These two systems were experimented on during the December Maneuver Fires Integrated Experiment (MFIX) at Fort Sill.
The Hunter platform performs its namesake — finding enemy systems and providing the ability to call for fire and attack the target automatically. The Killer’s ability is to fight in the cyberspace battlefield, disrupting the communication ability between the unmanned aerial vehicle and its operator.
Each platform operates independently and were originally mounted on vehicles resembling dune buggies — a vehicle with large wheels designed for various types of terrain. During MFIX in April, the platforms showcased the ability to have C-UAS on mobile systems. During the December iteration, designers are hoping to verify the system’s software improvements and more-precise detecting capabilities.
Thomas Klaben, systems engineer for the Killer, said the improvements include better ability to determine between friendly and hostiles, and less false detections. Additionally the systems have improved their ability to operate without interfering with friendly forces. Whereas other systems have the ability to defeat all unmanned aerial vehicles, the Killer is more surgical. They are able to better take out enemy UAVs without also immobilizing friendly UAVs.
Mike Gasparek, program manager for Syracuse Research Corporation (SRC), said each opportunity they have to experiment builds on the advancements made previously. The system started as a tripod mount that could be dropped and set up. It was then expanded to have the system be able to move.
“It could be dropped out of a (helicopter) or a C-130, that was the original kit, but it’s grown since that,” said Gasparek. “We found our shortcoming last August and July, we fix the shortcomings and test them. It’s just a spiral development, we keep spiraling up.”