Drones pose an ongoing security threat in both the military and civilian sector, as they are undetectable by radar systems in a congested airspace. While near-misses are recurrent, it is only a matter of time before a serious incident occur, which could prove disastrous. Defence IQ wanted to delve deeper into the reality of countering drones for the radar sector and asked Jens Lehmann, Senior Air Traffic Controller at the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Associations and speaker at Military Radar 2018 to give his exclusive insight on the matter, from the current lack of technical solutions to the need to address this issue globally.
The current major procurement operation in radar, the SENSR programme, is deemed to entirely renovate the US radar network, from surveillance to air safety and weather radar applications. Capable of meeting the requirements of all four agencies taking part in the project - NORAD, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -, it will use a combination of new technologies and existing systems from across industry. Ahead of the upcoming Military Radar conference, we had the opportunity to interview Brian Lihani, Deputy Chief of the Aerospace Warning Branch at NORAD and speaker at the event, on the factors, goals and timescale of the SENSR programme.