This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
By: Or Shalom, HLS expert
MILIPOL exhibition, held in Singapore last week, May 18-20th, 2022, showcased advanced HLS technologies for the battlefield, border protection, and critical infrastructure. Meanwhile, the guest audience was diverse and included law enforcement officials, military officials and representatives, security experts, and investors (the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has an impact on strengthening HLS and cyber investment). The variety of solutions presented at the exhibition included solutions for protective measures, technologies, designated systems, and equipment for combat missions and missions against terror, rescue efforts, technological and physical protection, intelligence systems, and cyber solutions.
Necessities, as well as constraints, direct the security market to advanced technologies that integrate advanced analytics capabilities as well as AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning). Integrating AI capabilities that adapt to broader thought processes that are also based on the process of inference between existing relationships, and utilizing ML as part of the learning process by using advanced computational methods to learn from the data and without relying on a predetermined equation as a model.  These capabilities are essential and necessary as they will enable security challenges to be optimally addressed with minimum distractions. Alongside this is the ability to support a decision or respond completely autonomously.
The combination of capabilities is reflected in various fields such as autonomous robots and drones. Realizing these abilities in the drone arena will contribute to the drone’s mission and autonomous capabilities, including the ability to overcome possible obstacles or communicate with other drones in the swarm. This autonomous ability also relies on the ability to overcome obstructions and disruptions. Therefore, it also depends on the various developments in the PNT research fields as well as the ability to navigate independently of external systems (such as GPS) or of a blocked mode, which requires equipment and add-in sensors. 
Many different companies have introduced drones for various security and intelligence uses. Capabilities of utilizing multi-task drones were also presented by using large drones able to carry payloads for various purposes and missions. In this manner, an interesting ability to detect metals using a drone that carries a metal detector was presented at the exhibition. The designated payload can be disassembled and replaced with an optical night vision camera or any other designated system to fulfill other needs or tasks.
From the other side of the drone world, a number of leading Anti-Drone solutions (including Israeli solutions) were presented at the exhibition. The necessity for drone interception capabilities has increased in recent years. This need is affected by several triggers and incidents occured in recent years, such as the use of drones near airports (a few incidents at UK airports, for example), threats to personalities and convoys, threats against critical infrastructure (suicide UAVS in Aramco, Saudi Arabia, for example), and battlefield threats (swarms of drones, etc.). Biden’s government plan to monitor the drone market will continue to urge the need and use of Anti-Drone technologies. The technologies presented are tactical and enable mobility (such as responding to a secure convoy of vehicles) and task definition corresponding to the geographical area and radius. The necessity and ability to carry out an action in certain scenarios, beginning at detection and ending at autonomous interception, is expressed here too. Among the aspects that will proceed to affect the Anti-Drone market and the equipping of it is the ability to integrate and adapt solutions in order to reduce their commercial costs. A solution for a radius of 5 km and dependence on a human factor, will be cheaper than a solution for a radius of tens of kilometers in which autonomous interception will be required. Another aspect is following-up on advanced studies on autonomous drone development and their ability to orient themselves without GPS and dependence on external systems. The challenge in mind is to be able to detect, intercept or block them (kinetically or otherwise). 
Interesting abilities in the areas of X-Ray screening and the ability to utilize tactical mobile systems with high resolution processing capabilities and adjustments that allow for correct diagnosis and convenient, user-friendly use, even for non-professional security personnel, in the X-Ray screening and bomb-disposal fields were also presented at the exhibition. Thus, X-Ray screening using tactical systems and mobile screening components will be displayed as an image with indication accompanied by text of the item or threat. This process relies on combining AI capabilities and condensing the data from different angles and dimensions which ensures fuller coverage even in the area itself by a mobile system. Quite a few interesting innovations regarding battlefield optics solutions were presented, including improving resolution, midrange, night visibility, and the ability to integrate laser rangefinders, monocular telescopes, sniper rifles, etc. into various systems and improving optics on small drones.
Israeli companies presented a wide range of advanced technologies and capabilities at the exhibition this year, too, attracting extensive media coverage. Many of the solutions that meet the various necessities and threats in the HLS and Cyber market have contributed to this.
The purpose of the capabilities and technologies presented at the exhibition is to support the decision-making processes on the battlefield or secure areas. As such, there is also the desire for these to be linked to each other as well as to other systems for transmitting and exchanging information (such as the use of IoMT – Internet of Military Things – to exchange information between soldiers and command), preventing friendly fire, maximum control, and improving battlefield performance. The allure of the attacker to strike with a variety of possible manipulations (such as jamming or disrupting frequencies, etc.) increases accordingly in order to impair the functionality of these systems. System immunity issues often arise out of concern of GPS-based system disruption and deception. Therefore system immunity and cyber protection will proceed to be an important tier in order for these systems to not be a disadvantage, exposed to attacks, or fail users.
Or Shalom – Security and cyber expert and consultant to government ministries and defense industries, international business development consultant for companies in the fields of HLS and cyber and leads centers of excellence and advanced training programs in Cyber and HLS for various organizations in the civilian, security, industry, and academic sectors. He holds a master’s degree, as well as civil and national qualifications in the realm of HLS and Cyber Security. He has experience in security, innovation, planning, and characterization of technological security systems, HLS, and Cyber preparedness.