CROW anti-drone system. Image – Indra

Indra is part of a European team developing the next generation of counter-unmanned aerial systems (C-UAS). This collaborative effort, funded by the European Union (EU) through the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP), aims to equip European forces with adaptable and effective defenses against evolving drone threats.

Indra is a member of the core group heading the Leonardo-led JEY-CUAS project, which consists of 38 enterprises, research bodies, and institutes of various sizes from across Europe.  JEY-CUAS (Joint European sYstem for Countering Unmanned Aerial Systems) is a European project that strives to develop technologies to create a new generation of C-UAS systems based on a modular and flexible plug’n’play architecture to address the challenge posed by micro and mini drones. The solution contributes to improved situational awareness and counteracts the increasing resilience of UAS to the first generation of C-UAS, responding to new LSS (Low, Small, Slow) threats and reducing reaction times.

The company’s role in the project is multifaceted. Indra, which coordinates Spanish industry participation, will take the lead in defining the operational concept for these C-UAS systems. This entails a comprehensive analysis of potential drone use cases, user needs, and the anticipated advancements in drone technology. By understanding the evolving threat landscape, Indra ensures the developed systems can effectively address present and future challenges.

Indra spearheaded the development of technologies for the system, including jammers and passive radars. This involved analyzing potential drone attacks and assessing various countermeasures, both non-lethal (soft-kill) and lethal (hard-kill). Soft-kill options explored included laser energy and electromagnetic pulses, while hard-kill solutions encompassed different kinetic neutralizers. Additionally, Indra evaluated a range of detection systems, from radars and acoustic systems to infrared and visible spectrum cameras, along with radio frequency sensors.

Their most significant contribution, however, lies in integrating all these components. Indra built a unified command and control system using a standard protocol, ensuring seamless operation. This system also integrates with higher-level command and control structures for a comprehensive defense network. Finally, to further enhance accuracy and efficiency, Indra has developed and tested new artificial intelligence modules for future systems.