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A new high-speed interceptor to counter-unmanned air vehicle (UAV) has been unveiled by MARSS. The platform is based on machine learning and increased safety versus employing air defense missiles.

The new design is a response to the growing and evolving threat posed by hostile drone operators. A quadcopter-type model with two 90cm-diameter wings, the 10kg (22lb) interceptor will engage targets at subsonic speed using only kinetic force, according to the company.

The interceptor is equipped with an imaging infrared seeker, to be operated in concert with MARSS’ existing NiDAR counter-UAV command and control technology – which combines radar with visual and thermal imaging cameras and jamming technology.

Deployed vertically from a launch tube before transitioning to forward flight, the design can engage multiple small, Category I air vehicles in one sortie, or make a single engagement against a larger, Category II system via a “hard kill” maneuver.

Target engagement involves striking a drone at its weakest point – typically an engine or propeller. 

According to flightglobal.com, MARSS cites a head-on engagement range of more than 2.7nm (5km) and an operating speed of over 80m/s, with an endurance of less than 10min.