Explotrain®LLC is taking the defensive response to the emerging drone threat straight to the troops with their development of a realistic drone based IED simulation and training system. The company says its ExploDrone is the first and only functional drone and simulated IED integrated device, and it addresses the vital and emerging threat of drone weapons in theatre.
Asymmetric warfare by its very nature leads combatants on all sides to develop new weapons and defenses. The latest emerging threat in current conflicts is the use of sUAVs or drones as a method, not of reconnaissance, but delivering and deploying weapons in the form of explosives. The drone-based IED delivery systems seen most recently in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan are the latest step in the evolution of the improvised explosives threat.
While the US military is exploring multiple counter drone technologies, from electronic signal jamming and interception to laser based disabling systems, Explotrain says it has created the only drone-based IED simulation system to be used in live training, testing and evaluation and it is using its patented technologies to accurately simulate IEDs delivered by drones and other Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAVs).
“A key challenge in developing, testing and validating the current crop of counter-unmanned aerial systems (cUAS) is a lack of true simulators,” said Mr. Michael Hopmeier, a recognized expert on cUAS system strategy and technology. “Faked YouTube videos and staged tests are entertaining, but they are what lead to so many casualties from IEDs just a decade ago.”
Working in conjunction with military, law enforcement and business partners, Explotrain says its new ExploDrone™ system is able to accurately simulate the two main types of attacks carried out by enemy drones. Lightweight pneumatic-based Explosive Blast Simulators are carried by larger drones and are used to simulate attacks wherein the drone itself is used as an explosive device, akin to the Japanese kamikaze pilots of WWII. However, unlike their real-world counterpart, these training drones and simulators can be reused indefinitely to save training costs. Additionally, smaller drones are used that carry simulations of the repurposed military and improvised munitions that are being dropped onto personnel, vehicles, or other military targets. These simulated munitions are interfaced with Explosive Blast Simulators prepositioned in or on the target area to create the realistic effects so necessary to providing psychologically effective training to ground troops.
One of Explotrain’s partner companies, Inert Products, specializes in the rapid development and reproduction of ordnance and munitions and is capable of providing the wide array of Inert Dropped Aerial Munitions (IDAM™s) that troops and law enforcement are likely to face.
These advancements are used not only in training scenarios but also as a means of testing and evaluating new tactics and technologies without the risks and expenses of using them against a live threat.