Russia and Egypt have agreed to cooperate on the licensed production of Russian civilian anti-drone systems called Zashchita (Protection) at the Egypt Defence Expo (EDEX) 2023, which is held in Cairo from December 4 to 7.
The agreement was signed by the Russian Vector Research Institute, part of Ruselectronics holding within Russia’s state technological company Rostec, and an unnamed Egyptian electronics manufacturer.
The parties will work together to increase production volumes and promote anti-drone means developed by the Vector Research Institute in Africa.
The Zashchita system is designed to detect, identify, track and jam unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) within a radius of 2 km, regardless of the time of day and weather conditions. The system is mobile, compact and stealthy, as it operates in passive mode without emitting any radio signals.
The system consists of several devices: a passive radar station, radio monitoring equipment and a suppression complex. The system can also locate the drone operator and disrupt the communication channel with the UAV.
The agreement is the first Russian-Egyptian deal since the cancellation of the sale of Su-35 fighter jets under the threat of US sanctions. Rostec has stressed that the agreement is in the civilian sphere and does not violate any international obligations.
The proliferation of drone technology across Africa has significantly expanded humanitarian, and military operations, although, still an emerging technology in the continent, however, in the hands of non-state armed groups, they pose a significant threat.
Despite the growing threat posed by drones in Africa, many African militaries are falling short in fielding adequate counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) solutions, leaving security forces vulnerable to emerging threats.
The Vector Research Institute’s General Director Sergei Skorykh said that the cooperation with the Egyptian company is a big step towards the promising African market.
“Our solutions for countering drones are already being successfully used and provide reliable protection of protected facilities in Russia. Today, the company offers foreign customers various products in the field of monitoring, detection, identification, tracking and countering UAVs. This agreement opens up the opportunity for us to develop new markets and promote Russian products in the field of protection against drones on the African continent,” he said.
The Zashchita system is not the only innovative product that Ruselectronics Holding has developed for the defence sector. The holding also designed the Penicillin acoustic-thermal reconnaissance system, which can detect firing positions of artillery, mortars, multiple launch rocket systems, and enemy launch sites of anti-aircraft and tactical missiles, while also spotting for the friendly artillery.
“Unlike most of similar systems, Penicillin detects the enemy artillery with a new combination of heat and sonic reconnaissance rather than with radars, and this makes its jamming impossible. The system detects acoustic and thermal signals of shots and explosions, identifies the exact coordinates of guns, and lays them out on a digital map. Obtaining coordinates of a single target takes less than 5 seconds,” says Rostec’s Industrial Director Bekhan Ozdoev.
The system consists of two vehicles on KAMAZ chassis: a sound-ranging reconnaissance vehicle and a acoustic-thermal reconnaissance vehicle. Depending on the supply variant, the system may include from two (one vehicle of each type) to six vehicles.
“Penicillin has successfully passed the state inspection, and is now supplied to the Russian Army. Jointly with Rosoboronexport, we are currently negotiating with a few potential foreign customers, including the ones who operate Post-3M electronic reconnaissance stations,” notes the General Director of the Vega Group Vyacheslav Mikheev.
The EDEX 2023 is the third edition of the biennial defence exhibition that showcases the latest military and security technologies from around the world. The event attracts over 400 exhibitors and 30,000 visitors from more than 60 countries. The exhibition also features live demonstrations, seminars and conferences on various topics related to the defence industry.