Army used Is­raeli tech­nol­ogy to pro­tect Gatwick from rogue drone

The Jewish Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BY JC RE­PORTER

THE BRI­TISH Army used an Is­raeli anti-drone sys­tem in an ef­fort to pro­tect Gatwick af­ter over 120,000 peo­ple saw their flights can­celled or di­verted as a re­sult of the ap­pear­ance of an un­manned ae­rial ve­hi­cle (UAV) over the air­port run­way last week.

Af­ter the po­lice tried and failed to neu­tralise the drone us­ing an off-theshelf, com­mer­cially avail­able sys­tem, the Army’s Is­raeli ‘Drone Dome’ sys­tem was called in.

Gatwick was able to re-open its run­way on Fri­day morn­ing, fol­low­ing 36 hours of dis­rup­tion — but by mid-af­ter­noon re­ports emerged that the drone had reap­peared

About 1,000 flights were af­fected.

The air­port has spent £5m since De­cem­ber 19 on new equip­ment and tech­nol­ogy.

A man and a woman were ar­rested but sub­se­quently ex­on­er­ated when they were re­leased with­out charge on Sun­day. They were ques­tioned for 36 hours in con­nec­tion with the dis­rup­tion.

On the same day, one Sus­sex Po­lice of­fi­cer said there was “al­ways a pos­si­bil­ity that there may not have been any gen­uine drone ac­tiv­ity in the first place”.

The force then rowed back, at­tribut­ing the mix-up to “poor com­mu­ni­ca­tions”, rather than a gen­uine pos­si­bil­ity that the drone claims were base­less.

The ‘Drone Dome’, made by Rafael, an Is­raeli de­fence tech­nol­ogy com­pany, was bought by the Army for £15.8 mil­lion in 2018 and the tech­nol­ogy has been used in Syria to de­stroy Isis UAVs.

The tech­nol­ogy is de­scribed by Rafael as an “end-to-end sys­tem de­signed to pro­vide ef­fec­tive airspace de­fence against hos­tile drones used by ter­ror­ists to per­form ae­rial at­tacks, col­lect in­tel­li­gence, and other in­tim­i­dat­ing ac­tiv­i­ties”.

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