Army to provide c-UAS rapid-response concept to Esper

By Jaspreet Gill / March 6, 2020 at 12:10 PM

Defense Secretary Mark Esper has tasked the Army with developing a rapid-response capability concept for counter unmanned aerial systems, a service official said yesterday.

Col. Richard Wright, Army G-3/5/7, said at an Association of the U.S. Army event the service will deliver the concept in April after it completes an assessment of several fielded c-UAS systems. The Army in January was named the new lead for the effort.

"When we come back in April with an update to the secretary, we've got to give him at least a basic concept of what we’re developing and how we're going forward," Wright told Inside Defense. "As we're kind of peeling back the problem to see where all of these efforts are at, it's going to take a little bit of time to actually put that concept into practice. . . . [The plan] is going to allow us the ability to rapidly respond to changes in the threat. So, if an adversary is able to modify a capability to where it can't be detected or defeated by a system, we want to know about that quickly and get a fix out there."

Wright said the service has been in talks with Lt. Gen. Neil Thurgood, the Army's director of hypersonics, directed energy, space and rapid acquisition, who is "working with all service [project managers] to consolidate the threat database library," and also in talks with Army Cyber Command.

"We visited with [Army] Cyber Command and [the National Security Agency] earlier this week and we're looking at what they're doing to get after forensics and getting out to see what industry is developing and what commercially is being developed and so forth," he said.

Wright added the service wants "to be proactive to what's already coming to us, as well as what the other state actors and so forth are developing so we get ahead of that. . . . The last thing you want is, if you're a warfighter out there, you find out on the back end that your system doesn't work and the enemies got the advantage on you."