What EW Systems and "Drone Killers" Has Ukraine Received to Counter Lancets and Shahed-136 Combat UAVs?

The MSI-DS Terrahawk Paladin, a Very Short-Range Air Defense (VSHORAD) system / Foto credit: MSI-Defence Systems Ltd
The MSI-DS Terrahawk Paladin, a Very Short-Range Air Defense (VSHORAD) system / Foto credit: MSI-Defence Systems Ltd

Something about anti-drone measures that may be tested in combat this winter

The progress of drones as a type of weapon, which has occurred during the full-scale invasion of the russian federation into Ukraine, has also stimulated the development of countermeasures against UAVs.

Moreover, the increase in the mass use of drones from both sides has made 'traditional' air defense systems not always effective and cost-efficient in terms of 'cost versus result' ratio.

Read more: Pokrova EW System is a Real Game-Changer in Ukrainian Fight Against Shahed-136 Drones and Cruise Missiles, That Renders GPS Receivers Useless

As Ukraine had a certain lag behind russia in developing its own EW (Electronic Warfare) systems, 'hybrid' counter-drone tools (C-UAS) received from the West became particularly relevant for our country.

Some of them can be called a renaissance of small-caliber anti-aircraft artillery using 21st-century technologies. This is discussed in the review by the C4ISRNET portal.

First and foremost, the authors of the review noted that Lithuania supplied Ukraine with 'thousands' of the Skywiper Electronic Drone Mitigation 4 System (EDM4S) and the Skywiper Omni from the company NT Service.

With a range of 3-5 kilometers (1.7-3.1 miles) and a weight of only 6.5 kilograms (14.3 pounds), the EDM4S has proven to be easy to use and can be widely deployed with mobile units. These jamming devices have seen widespread use in Ukraine.

However, the use of such systems has its own challenges, which are related to how russian UAVs are advancing. An increasing number of drones are being designed to operate in GPS-denied environments, making current jamming weapons ineffective. Alternatively, the russians may be plotting a "broken" route for targeting drones. This also complicates the task of capturing the target for anti-drone rifles.

The MSI-DS Terrahawk Paladin system, Defense Express
The MSI-DS Terrahawk Paladin, a Very Short-Range Air Defense (VSHORAD) system / Foto credit: MSI-Defence Systems Ltd

Therefore, kinetic anti-drone systems, or air defense systems designed to destroy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have become particularly relevant for Ukraine.

The U.K. included an MSI-DS Terrahawk Paladin, a Very Short-Range Air Defense (VSHORAD) system, in its recent $122 million military assistance package. Utilizing a 30mm Mk44 Bushmaster II autocannon, the Terrahawk can be operated remotely by a crew of two, work in conjunction with up to six other VSHORADs, and engage targets up to 3km away using XM1211 High Explosive Proximity-fused (HE-P) ammunition. Similar systems include the German SKYNEX, the delivery of which to Ukraine was also mentioned in open sources.

Among the more widespread anti-drone systems that have been either delivered to Ukraine or are planned for delivery, one can mention the Slinger counter-drone systems from the Australian Electric Optic Systems.

Using a Bushmaster M230LF 30 x 113mm cannon, the Slinger can automatically track and eliminate moving targets beyond 800 meters. It can be mounted on the M113 APC or MRAP-like platforms and is valued at $1.55 million per unit.

And also – the CORTEX Typhon C-UAS system from Kongsberg, which modifies various calibers of machine guns and is mounted on the Dingo armored vehicles.

Moreover, it is worth highlighting the Vehicle Agnostic Modular Palletized ISR Rocket Equipment (VAMPIRE) system, created primarily for the destruction of russian drones. This system can be installed on a vehicle, equipping it with four 70mm APKWS rockets or similar laser-guided munitions.

Read more: Ukraine Gets Unique Slinger Anti-Drone Weapon Station From Australian EOS