Testing for success
The proof of excellence is in how KuRFS and Coyote perform as key components of LIDS: “There have been thousands and thousands of hours of evaluations, including quarterly engineering tests, leading up to the Army’s annual record tests,” said Darnè, a retired U.S. Army colonel. “We’ve co-developed these capabilities with the Army, and they know that what they have will perform reliably as the mission requires.”
Building on the milestones achieved in the 2021 test, Raytheon’s Counter-UAS team members again gathered alongside Army personnel at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona for their summer 2022 test.
Again, the results were outstanding:
- KuRFS detected and tracked over 100 Group 1 through 3 drones – singles and swarms – and passed track data to FAAD C2 during the test event.
- Coyote Block 2 effectively engaged 11 targets.
- Ku-720-2 (KuRFS distributed radar configuration) identified, tracked and acquired a target, and supported a Coyote Block 2 engagement for the first time.
“There’s so much history here,” said Abel Ghanooni, senior director of Raytheon’s SHORAD and Rapid Development programs. “Coming out of these record tests, we always learn something, and that spurs ideas for improvements to be incorporated ahead of the next one,” he added.
Evolving ahead of threats
This cycle of ongoing assessments, together with direct input from warfighters operating the systems, leads to improving, upgrading and maturing the technology because “we want to continually evolve the systems to stay ahead of the UAS threat set,” Ghanooni said.
The consistently successful performance of Coyote and KuRFS during these tests proves that LIDS gives warfighters around the globe a competitive advantage.
“There’s significant international interest in LIDS, with more than a dozen countries reaching out for briefings,” Ghanooni said, noting that the U.S. State Department recently approved a potential sale of the counter-UAS system with KuRFS and Coyote to Qatar.
Meanwhile, the Army is expected to conduct its next record test in Arizona later this year – yet another opportunity to demonstrate LIDS’ exceptional capabilities and performance.
In addition to the counter-UAS team from Raytheon and U.S. Department of Defense personnel, representatives from partner nations will also attend as they’ve done in previous years, to see first-hand how the U.S. Army is bringing the fight to the proliferating UAS threat.
“LIDS is an operationally deployed system today,” Darnè said. “KuRFS and Coyote are out there – defending soldiers, bases and assets from enemy drones.”