• Credit: AIM Defence
    Credit: AIM Defence

AIM Defence, creator of Australia’s first laser-based counter-drone system, has been selected by the Canadian Department of National Defence to demonstrate its Fractl high power laser system in an international counter-drone exercise later this year.

AIM Defence’s Fractl system will be pitted against Canada’s ‘Red Team’ drones in a series of test scenarios at the 2024 Counter Uncrewed Aerial Systems Sandbox, hosted under Canada’s Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security program.

Fifteen counter-UAS (CUAS) prototypes in development globally will be demonstrated during the three-week exercise, including systems designed by defence industry primes Boeing USA and Leonardo.

It is the first year that high power lasers such as Fractl have been included in the Sandbox exercise, which is centred on detecting and defeating micro and mini drones.

AIM Defence states that the Fractl system generates enough energy to burn through steel and can shoot down a drone travelling at 100km/hour from a kilometre away. The targeting system can be remotely operated from anywhere in the world, and is capable of integrating with military sensor suites and command and control systems.

“Autonomous and remotely-operated attack drones have become a prolific and increasing asymmetric threat both in conflict zones and to public safety,” said AIM Defence co-founder Dr Jae Daniel.

"The Sandbox is an important opportunity for AIM Defence to demonstrate Fractl’s precision tracking and targeting in a variety of defensive operations.”

The Canadian Joint Operations Command is leading Canada’s CUAS effort, coordinating with the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force, and Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) to evaluate and fund emerging CUAS solutions.

The Sandbox exercise will be overseen by Canadian Armed Forces personnel as well as military and science experts from the United States Government - Irregular Warfare Technical Support Directorate, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police end-users.

“The user feedback will be important for ongoing development of our Fractl system, which is low-cost and portable, and engineered for enhanced safety compared to typical directed energy systems”, said AIM Defence Co-founder Jessica Glenn.

The 2024 CUAS Sandbox will run from May to June 2024 in Alberta, Canada.

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