This post is also available in: heעברית (Hebrew)

The U.S. Marine Corps has recently revealed a new project that’s at work –  its new modular heli-drone security system. The system consists of three sensor mast towers, which can monitor up to six nautical miles that detect any unusual objects or vessels, and relays information back to a command center. From that point, the operator can deploy a fully automated drone directly to the object for a closer look.

“If an operator sees a threat in the water or on base, they can use the drone to get a better look,” said Scott Sanders, head of operations for the company demonstrating the capability. “This eliminates the need to put a Marine or anyone else at risk to investigate the threat.”

The drone will be able to provide the system that’s already in place an additional asset that can expand its capabilities beyond its normal boundaries. The drone offers more detailed surveillance by relaying high-definition video and photos, can track objects by following or orbiting, and, with its engines allowing it to reach speeds of up to 95 kph, ensure nothing can escape its sight, according to defence-blog.com.

“Currently, the systems that we have do offer the same 360-degree surveillance, but they cannot travel beyond the I-5 perimeter,” said Nick Morin, physical security officer for Marine Corps Installations West. “Now with the drone, we can send it out beyond the normal perimeter to give us a clearer understanding of whatever threat may be, and in doing so, it extends our perimeter as well”. Since the tower and drone systems are fully automated, meaning all the missions that require a human are that once a threat is detected to deploy the drone, thus eliminating the need to assemble an investigation team.

While it also eliminates the hazard of sending people to investigate, it is also significantly cheaper than the current and similar security systems, which translates to saving more lives at less the cost. “Because these systems are fully autonomous, nobody has to man them,” said Sanders. “As one of the largest bases in the western region of the United States, ensuring we have the best means of security is a top priority. If acquired, this system would greatly improve, not only our coastal security, but our inland security as well”.

“This system would be a great enhancement to our security by giving us the ability to secure isolated areas on base, without having to send our men out there, which is not only costly, but more importantly, very dangerous,” said Morin. “The drone would allow us to do that without using as much manpower, which makes it a big enhancement for not only security, but safety as well.”