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A new development at the counter unmanned vehicle arena. The Estonian military expects to demonstrate a prototype of its Shark counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (C-UAV) system in the August/September timeframe with Marduk Technologies.

Currently, the Shark is planned to be used to combat quadcopter UAVs with an aim to expand the capability to small fixed-wing platforms, which are generally faster targets.

Rather than providing a jamming function ,the case with many C-UAV technologies, Shark seeks to disrupt the effectiveness of an adversary’s platform by denying the visual reconnaissance and flight control aspects brought through its optical sensors.

Due to the wide field-of-view that is typical of the cameras carried by commercially available quadcopters, the company stated that the laser can be effective even if it does not directly hit the aircraft’s payload; a 1 km engagement range is an initial target for Shark. Indrek Seppo, Marduk Technologies’ CEO, told Janes.com that a UAV-based Shark is also in the long-term roadmap for the development of the system, as is a portable configuration that could be carried and deployed in the field.

The concept of operations for Shark is basically a network of systems providing a wide-area defensive capability, with an electro-optical system cued to a target following the initial detection by another sensor, which is tracked by Shark and ultimately engaged by the laser; the system will also offer utility against swarming UAVs. Shark will be able to distinguish between UAVs and false targets, such as birds.

Seppo added that the testing of limited aspects of the system will focus on Shark’s electro-optical (EO) tracking technology and that they’re working to extend the range of the system’s UAV detection capability.