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Leonardo to equip Canadian Armed Forces with counter-drone technology

Leonardo Press Release | February 28, 2024

Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 14 seconds.

Leonardo has been awarded a contract by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to provide its Falcon Shield C-UAS system for operation by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

The company will provide a number of systems and a 10-year sustainment package that includes options for additional equipment and the spiral development of new capabilities.

First systems will be delivered later this year to the CAF, which will immediately deploy Falcon Shield to forward operating bases to protect deployed personnel.

Falcon Shield is the UK’s operationally proven solution to the growing threat from group 1 to 3 (smaller, slower, and lower flying) UAS, which are usually undetectable by conventional air surveillance equipment. Using a mix of advanced sensors from Leonardo and industry partners, the system rapidly detects, tracks, and prioritizes threats and gives operators the means to neutralize them effectively.

Produced at Basildon and Southampton sites, Falcon Shield is in service with the UK’s Armed Forces, is trusted by close allies on operations, and is readily available for export customers worldwide. Leonardo continues to update Falcon Shield to ensure it remains cutting-edge in a rapidly evolving security landscape.

For its UK Royal Air Force (RAF) customer, Leonardo has delivered seven complete baseline counter-drone systems (called ORCUS in RAF service) for the service’s ‘Synergia’ research and development programme. The RAF is also employing these systems as a national standby capability in support of the Emergency Services. In this role, the RAF has operated Leonardo counter-UAS technology during high-profile events including the 2021 G7 summit in Cornwall and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth games. During Christmas 2018, Falcon Shield was deployed at both London Gatwick and Heathrow airports following suspected drone sightings, allowing air operations to resume.

Leonardo has also been working with the United States Armed Forces as part of the ongoing collaboration between the UK and US on counter-drone research and development. Under this partnership, the company has integrated the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)’s NINJA technology into the RAF ORCUS system and demonstrated its ability to detect dozens of small drone platforms in the airspace around airbases and then mitigate them.

Leonardo will be operating Falcon Shield at Canada’s ‘Counter Uncrewed Aerial Systems Sandbox 2024’ exercise, being held in Suffield, Alta., in June, where it will counter drones flown by the CAF’s “red team” operators.

This press release was prepared and distributed by Leonardo.

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