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USSOCOM tests the use of passive radar in C-UAS missions

8th May 2024 - 20:53 GMT | by Flavia Camargos Pereira in Tampa


MAVERICK M8 is a soldier-portable passive radar. (Photo: Silentium Defence)

Trials with the Silentium Defence Maverick M8 passive radar system were conducted in Exercise Trident Spectre 2024.

Aiming at improving the protection for special operators against UAS, the US Special Operations Command (US SOCOM) tested a soldier-portable passive radar during Exercise Trident Spectre 2024 in April in Fort Story, Virginia.

Supplied by the Australian company Silentium Defence, the Maverick M8 system is a low-size, weight and power solution for land tactical surveillance. It can support C-UAS missions by detecting and tracking drones without exposing operators or allowing enemies to geolocate them.

The Silentium’s co-founder and Chief Experience Officer, Simon Palumbo, explained that although 'it does not transmit anything', MaverickM8 can 'see everything in the airspace', even non-emitting objects like silent, autonomous systems and dark drones.

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'The current conflicts are teaching us that if you transmit, you tend to get a nasty threat coming at you,' he pointed out.

Part of the Maverick M family of solutions, this system is built with a completely sealed unit, without the need for cooling measures such as fans to be easily concealed and minimise detection by threat visual, acoustic and thermal sensors.

Maverick M8 can be powered by the standard military BB2950 batteries or from vehicle power. Moreover, it can be connected to a distributed C2 system to form a resilient, survivable and low-signature C-UAS network complementing the capabilities provided by RF sensors, active radars and EO sensors.

'It is a system of systems approach. There is no silver bullet,' Palumbo pointed out. 'We have connected it through low probability incept, detection mesh networks providing a fence but still maintaining as low electromagnetic signature as possible.'

The device is currently part of the inventory of the Australian Army, Navy and Air Force. Although Palumbo could not disclose details, he confirmed that Silentium was awarded a contract for the supply of Maverick M8 from its first US customer in October 2023.

Palumbo stressed that there are other countries keen to conduct trials and demonstrations with the system. 'We are getting a lot of interest at the moment because we have a unique solution.'

Besides the Maverick M family, Silentium also provides other passive radar systems for surveillance of sea, land and space. 

'We do have a commercial side of the business as well, providing critical infrastructure protection.'

Flavia Camargos Pereira


Flavia Camargos Pereira

Flavia Camargos Pereira is a North America editor at Shephard Media. She joined the company …

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