In the back lot of an industrial site in Canberra, an Australian-produced response to the growing drone threat in Ukraine runs through its paces.
A replica cannon mounted on the back of a pick-up truck tracks its target, part of a weapons system that launches “hard kill” strikes to blow drones out of the sky.
It is called Slinger and it is designed to counter drones at a cost that countries like Ukraine can afford.
“We’ve seen this massive proliferation of drone threats in Ukraine,” said Matt Jones from Electro Optic Systems, or EOS.
“The issue is the types of systems you would currently use to defeat drones are way too expensive to defeat a $10,000 or even a $1,000 drone.”
War has changed forever in Ukraine. Drones play a huge role above the front line. It is estimated thousands of drones are in the air every day.
“The speed at which not only can you find people on the battlefield, the speed at which you can target and destroy them, that is changing tactics,” retired Australian major general Mick Ryan said.
“It’s changing formations, and it’s going to have to change military doctrines and equipment everywhere.”