Army used Israeli technology to protect Gatwick from rogue drone
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”.