Leonardo delivers counter-drone know-how to the Royal Air Pressure to help the analysis and growth programme SYNERGIA – Drones Information


  • The RAF will use the Leonardo Counter-Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) equipment as part of its ongoing research program to develop the ORCUS C-UAS system. This development system also provides a national standby function to support emergency services across the UK in crisis situations
  • Due to the grave threat posed by rogue drones to the UK, the program is considered extremely important to national security and Leonardo continues to provide equipment and support during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Leonardo is a leader in C-UAS technology and has contracts with the British and Italian armies. The modular, scalable systems can be exported worldwide without any problems

Leonardo in the UK has supplied the Royal Air Force with the first of four complete base counter drone systems in support of the next stage of its research and development program for unmanned aerial vehicles (C-UAS). The ORCUS system is now playing a key role in a comprehensive test and evaluation campaign that will improve the Air Force’s understanding of how to use technology in response to the threat posed by enemy drones.

The RAF will also maintain the ORCUS system as an enhanced national standby function that can be deployed quickly to support emergency services anywhere in the country in the event of a drone crisis.

The rogue drone threat is taken extremely seriously by the Department of Defense and therefore the C-UAS study program administered by the Future Capability Group for Defense Equipment and Support is considered extremely important to the security of the country. Leonardo is working hard to ensure that the program continues to deliver despite the disruption caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.

The modular systems Leonardo provided for the study will allow the RAF to assess a range of functions, including advanced radar, electro-optical and radio frequency sensors, as well as a countermeasure against electronic attacks. Further systems for testing and evaluation will be integrated in due course. Meanwhile, the RAF Force Protection operators will investigate the most effective methods to detect, track, identify and defeat rogue drones. In the long term, the research and development program will identify the requirements for a core function of the RAF counter drone protecting air bases across the UK.

Elements of Leonardo’s C-UAS equipment were previously operated by the RAF Force Protection Force in 2018 and 2019 after drones were spotted at Gatwick and Heathrow airports, allowing airport operations to resume.

Leonardo offers its scalable and modular C-UAS systems to military and civilian customers on an international level. The company has been contracted to provide C-UAS equipment for the Italian Army and Air Force and is currently in discussions with other potential customers worldwide.

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