DroneShield (ASX: DRO) has today announced the sale of an undisclosed quantity of its RfOne MKII long-range sensors to the Australian Army for testing.
The drone detector system, released mid-last year, spots and tracks unmanned air, land, and sea-based vehicles at distance. Customers include the US Air Force, which has implemented the RfOne at its Grand Forks base in North Dakota.
While the Sydney-based company deems the latest transaction "financially immaterial", CEO Oleg Vornik tells Business News Australia it paves the way to larger awards.
"Like with many other defence procurement projects, the concept here is the Australian Army has acquired a small quantity of RFOne sensors to deploy them in a range of conditions," Vornik explains.
"Of course, the idea is that once they are comfortable with a product and its capabilities to use it on a wider scale down the line."
The RfOne system, prior to this sale, has already attracted interest from several other armed forces for trials. However, the company often refers to contracts with a "key Five Eyes country" without mentioning which products are involved from its range of offerings that also includes portable drone "guns" and jammers.
DroneShield has already proven popular with clientele in Canberra. On the back of an expansion into the electronic warfare (EV) space, the company last month inked a $3.8 million deal with the Department of Defence for EV/signals intelligence products.
"In terms of public deployments, we have previously had discussions with the French army, the New Zealand Defence Force, the Australian Navy, the British army, and the Japanese police," he says.
Despite a broader global downturn, demand for counter-drone products remains strong amongst military, commercial aviation, and infrastructure buyers.
Germany-based drone analytics firm Drone Industry Insights last year found that the global counter-drone market is set to swell to US$6.6 billion ($8.94 billion) by the year 2024 at a 41.4 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
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