Technology research and development company Battelle has announced the second generation of its DroneDefender anti-drone weapon. First released in 2015, the DroneDefender’s initial configuration appeared to be essentially a radio jamming apparatus attached to an AR-15 chassis sans barrel. The V2 introduces a new external design, streamlined jamming apparatus, and integrated electronics. Battelle released a product video for the DroneDefender V2, embedded below:
Advertised as “directed energy”, the DroneDefender is in fact a high powered directional radio transmitter jammer, which exploits a drone’s auto-landing protocols to bring down a drone by overwhelming the controller signal with a high powered radio broadcast. This makes it potentially useful against commercial drones, but limits its effectiveness against hardened UAVs, such as military types. Therefore, the DroneDefender is best suited to the niche of non-destructively downing civilian drones which may wander into controlled areas, and taking down commercial drones used by non-state actors in a manner that preserves their onboard data for subsequent review.
At a fairly massive 15 pounds, the DroneDefencer V2 is substantially heavier than its predecessor, which reportedly weighed less than 10 pounds. This additional weight is advertised to come with new features, however, including better ergonomics, capability to disrupt additional frequencies,and longer ranged (advertised as above 400 meters). The weapon’s weight likely prevents it from being used in most dismounted capacities, but it is potentially a useful specialty weapon for static bases and from vehicles.