Singaporean company TRD is launching a new man-portable drone gun at Defense & Security 2023. Called the Orion-I, where the “I” stands for integrated, this is a next-generation, networked system-of-systems suite.
The handheld Orion-I combines the capabilities of the Orion-D MP and/or Orion-D HH detection systems, combined with the latest Orion-H9 drone gun with add-on Orion-MOC mobile operations console to act as defeat systems. The Orion-I also adds the Orion-C2 Lite web-based command-and-control tablet. This shows detected drone data on an interactive map. Alternatively, the information can be displayed on an Orion-C2 Smart Watch, which provides intuitive visual and sound alerts to a single operator.
Asked what is so unique about the Orion-I system of systems, TRD explained that the “concept usually applies to fixed-site and mobile vehicular solutions. TRD is believed to be the first to offer a man-portable solution to the concept, which provides extended mobility and reach for critical-asset protection that may have otherwise be limited by range and line of sight. At the same time, TRD came up with a web-based approach to communication for quicker and easier access of information among all the systems.”
The fact that the Orion-I is man-portable is a bonus, since it is quick and versatile to deploy. Another advantage of the system-of-systems approach is that customers can start with a basic capability of standalone devices, and then scale up to create an integrated and seamless counter-drone system over time.
The aforementioned Orion-H9 is effective in nine bands (five radio frequency bands and four GNSS systems) selectively and simultaneously. TRD noted: “Even though the distinct shape of the Orion drone gun remains constant, the technology inside continues to advance to address the ever-evolving drone threats. This has proven to be able to take down even the latest commercial, DIY and certain military-grade drones we see in the market today.”
The Orion-H has been used in 28 different countries to date, indicative of the popularity of TRD’s counter-UAS (C-UAS) systems.
Since the previous Defense & Security 2022 exhibition, TRD has delivered eleven Orion-I Next-Generation Counter-UAS Vehicles to an Asian client. The company has also added new functionality to its vehicle-based system in terms of a drone-on-drone capability for extended surveillance and jamming range. The vehicle-based solution can also detect and jam on the move.
Furthermore, the Orion-SP navigational satellite spoofing system has been integrated. This gives another soft-kill option in addition to jamming. The Orion-SP causes UAVs entering a “spoofed” protection area to become “lost”. This results in the drone turning away, making a forced landing or flying according to a set trajectory.
Significantly, TRD’s Counter-UAS Test Centre in Thailand is in full swing, located just one hour’s drive from Bangkok. This operational range permits live testing and evaluation. The Singapore company noted, “TRD feels testing and evaluation is especially important, as UAS threats and C-UAS solutions continue to evolve quickly.”
TRD runs regular workshops and live demonstrations for customers at its test centre. Situated there are six types of radars, eight kinds of RF detection systems, various jammers, a GPS spoofer and numerous UAVs for testing. An example test may involve simultaneously flying multiple drones of different sizes, to test how quickly and accurately a system can detect, identify and track each drone.
Importantly, the Thailand-based Counter-UAS Test Centre possesses a military grade certification centre. It can conduct rigorous tests such as radiation hazard assessments, ingress protection evaluations, and compliance to MIL-STD-461G and MIL-STD-810H standards.
TRD is pleased to say that, following a campaign to expand its global presence implemented in 2021, it has gained footholds in both the Middle East and Europe. Indeed, TRD successfully delivered 50 Orion-H9 drone guns to a Middle East military customer within three months. Additionally, the Singapore entity is in talks to create a joint venture company in the Middle East, with hopes of locally producing 1,000 Orion-H9s in the next year.
As for Europe, TRD delivered its full-suite, fixed-site Orion Anti-Drone System to two European countries to help protect critical infrastructure. TRD added that its European strategy is to “look to develop strategic partnerships in the market to create synergies between C-UAS solutions, and/or partner for local production”.
As well as selling equipment, TRD offers a C-UAS service. For example, it can deploy equipment for one-off events. An example is September’s ASEAN Summit in Indonesia, plus another is the APEC Summit in Thailand in November 2022. This service can also provide a stop-gap solution for airports or airbases whilst authorities evaluate more permanent C-UAS solutions.
Regarding its presence at Defense & Security 2023, TRD shared: ‘Thailand stands as a testament to our successful partnerships, being one of our most significant customers to date. Our collaboration with customers and partners in Thailand has been a journey of empowerment, aiding them in enhancing their C-UAS capabilities. Today, they are not only equipped with advanced systems, but they also have a skilled workforce to support pivotal in-country events, such as the APEC Summit held last year.”
It concluded: “TRD has firmly rooted its presence in Thailand by establishing a comprehensive product development cycle. From ideation to production and rigorous testing, our local centre ensures that we deliver products tailored to the unique needs of the region, ensuring superior quality and relevance.”