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Dstl Bristow trial develops future protection against hostile UAS

Government and industry have been working together to develop ways to combat unmanned air systems.

Innovative ways to counter unmanned air systems (UAS) have been tested this month in the latest ‘Bristow’ trial hosted by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). The recent trial evaluated the ability of a range of sensor systems to detect, track, recognise and identify a number of small UAS. The trial also assessed the utility of counter UAS technologies.

The deployment of UAS has provided the UK and its allies with one of the most significant military capability enhancements of recent years, delivering a wide range of effects in a number of roles, for example by protecting front line troops with small surveillance UAS.

It is recognised that UAS could be used to target UK interests by a potential adversary, so there is a need to understand the potential threat.

The ‘Bristow 15 Counter UAS (C-UAS)’ trial at West Freugh, Scotland, which is the only trial of its kind outside of the USA, builds on previous UAS trials. It has allowed Dstl to understand threat mitigation and developments by bringing various technology options together in one place.

The trial was delivered with the support of QinetiQ and brought together a number of industry and Ministry of Defence partners, as well as international allies.

More than one hundred UAS sorties flew in 6 flying days. Many of these were multiple launches (up to 6 at a time) flying increasingly complex tactical profiles. It allowed industry partners the opportunity to collect technical and operational data on the effectiveness of their own systems against small UAS.

Through Bristow 15, Dstl successfully proved that the UK can continue to pursue its own innovative solutions, paving the way for future trials and the development of countermeasures against hostile UAS.

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