The European Union training mission (EUTM) Mali is a military operation that aims to support the Malian armed forces in restoring stability and security in the country. The mission involves training, advising, and mentoring the Malian forces, as well as providing logistical and medical support.
However, the mission also faces various challenges and threats, especially from the air. Drones, or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), have become a common tool for malicious actors who seek to disrupt, spy on, or attack the EU personnel and facilities. Drones can carry explosives, cameras, or other payloads that can pose a serious risk to the mission’s objectives and safety.
To counter this threat, the EUTM Mali has deployed a cutting-edge anti-drone technology called DroneDefender, developed by Battelle, a US-based research and development organization. DroneDefender is a device that can disrupt the control and navigation of unwanted drones, rendering them harmless and preventing them from reaching their targets.
DroneDefender uses directed-energy technology, which means it emits a focused beam of electromagnetic energy that interferes with the drone’s signals. It can disrupt both the remote control and the GPS signals of the drone, causing it to lose control and either land or return to its origin. DroneDefender does not damage or destroy the drone, but rather neutralizes it, minimizing the collateral damage and the risk of detonation.
DroneDefender is a lightweight, portable, and easy-to-use device that can be operated by a single person. It has a range of up to 400 meters and can operate for two hours on a single battery charge. It has multiple antennas that can target different types of drones, such as quadcopters and hexacopters. It also has a safety switch that prevents accidental activation.
The EUTM Mali’s force protection unit, which is responsible for the security of the mission’s headquarters and personnel, has been trained to use DroneDefender effectively. The unit regularly conducts drills and exercises to simulate drone attacks and test their response capabilities. The unit also coordinates with other security agencies and stakeholders to share information and best practices on anti-drone measures.
DroneDefender is a vital tool for the EUTM Mali’s mission, as it provides a reliable and proven solution to counter the growing threat of drones. By using DroneDefender, the EUTM Mali can protect its headquarters and personnel from aerial attacks, ensure the continuity of its operations, and enhance its credibility and reputation. DroneDefender is a demonstration of the EU’s commitment and innovation in supporting peace and security in Mali and the region.
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