SkyTracker® Technology Suite: CACI Takes on the Rapidly Evolving Global C-UAS Threat
The growing threat posed by unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) presents significant challenges for government and industry alike. As UAS, or drones, have grown more sophisticated, cheaper, and easier to use, adversaries have increasingly embraced them. Additionally, the threat of drone swarms has grown more prominent across the globe. Various UAS have been used recently in complex attacks on critical infrastructure sites, and even in regional conflicts. The proliferation of UAS – from low-altitude lightweight drones used by infantry units and hobbyists to high-altitude UAS capable of carrying and employing air-to-ground weapons – poses sweeping challenges across many environments.
In effect, modern UAS and small UAS (sUAS) have democratized airpower. Hobbyists, non-state actors, and militaries alike now have access to effective, inexpensive surveillance and attack tools once reserved for well-equipped militaries. Tasks such as gathering intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), tracking vehicles, or spotting forces are now routinely carried out by UAS of varying size and capability. This trend is already changing modern conflict around the globe, as evidenced by the extensive use of UAS in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Caucasus region.
DoD and Congress Push for Greater C-UAS Capability
The Department of Defense (DoD), the U.S. Congress, and the defense industry have expanded efforts to mature counter-UAS (C-UAS) technologies to stay ahead of this threat. In the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, the DoD was directed to prioritize the development, testing, and production of a joint program that will meet immediate operational needs to counter Group 1, 2, and 3 UAS and added more than $47 million to the effort.
The newly formed DoD Joint C-sUAS Office (JCO) announced the selection of several interim systems to support the strategy last summer, including two from CACI’s SkyTracker Technology Suite of systems. The intent is to rapidly mature these capabilities, deploy them across the services, and enable them to interoperate with a host of common command and control (C2) systems. UAS and sUAS are “a rapidly proliferating, low-cost, high-reward ISR and lethal-attack threat” to U.S. personnel and interests, the Army declared in its statement announcing the interim system selections, adding the JCO would continue to work closely with industry to identify emerging C-UAS technologies and address emergent development and procurement challenges.
CACI’s SkyTracker: Tailored, Modular, and Adaptable C-UAS
While various solutions have proliferated across the defense industry, CACI has built on 20 years of mission experience and invested in an adaptable and modular family of sophisticated and interoperable solutions for air, land, and maritime platforms. The SkyTracker Technology Suite of C-UAS systems is comprised of several form factors that accurately and reliably detect, track, classify, and defeat a spectrum of UAS threats. The portfolio offers flexibility to choose a tailored approach to the threat, and a solution for any scenario or operational need.
Today, more than 700 CACI C-UAS systems and sensors are deployed globally, and information from these systems contributes to our large and growing signals and threat library. This library finely tunes precise mitigation techniques which are then processed by unique algorithms to turn insight into action. In addition, kinetic and non-kinetic solutions include cyber effects, radio frequency (RF) jamming, and electronic warfare (EW) tools. SkyTracker capabilities can integrate and interoperate as needed – thanks to our modular, open-systems approach. A few examples of the technology in our suite of systems include:
- CORIAN™ Family of Systems is designed to detect, identify, track, and mitigate against UAS threats using precision neutralization techniques. This modular and scalable system-of-systems with interoperable fixed site, mobile, and dismounted form factors supports base defense, on-the-move and convoy protection, and squad-level operations. CORIAN FS (fixed site) provides the largest detection and mitigation ranges and has many unique capabilities that can be customized to fit the mission. CORIAN M (mobile) is a ruggedized, portable platform that is easily deployed on a vehicle or vessel, providing both ground and maritime convoy protection. CORIAN D (dismount) is the smallest backpackable C-UAS attack system available on the market and features the longest detection and mitigation range. CORIAN D surveys the environment to enable deployed units to counter UAS, WiFi, range extenders, data links, analog/digital video, and other signals of interest.
- X-MADIS (eXpeditionary Mobile Air Defense Integrated System) is a fully integrated C-UAS system that detects, locates, tracks, identifies, and defeats sUAS. With an integrated all-threat tactical air surveillance radar, gyro-stabilized imaging system (equipped with both electro-optical and infrared sensors), C2 interface, and EW system, the X-MADIS provides a complete solution to combat the growing threat of hostile sUAS and near-peer air threats. The X-MADIS offers unmatched on-the-move force protection and protection of fixed locations. Dozens of X-MADIS C-UAS systems are deployed and operational around the world, and are trusted to protect assets, people, and infrastructure.
- Falcon Family of Systems is a family of EW tools that leverages signals intelligence to provide real-time warning and automated reporting. These capabilities enhance operational awareness across high-level UAS threat groups (Groups 3-5) and within a layered defense construct across numerous environments. Falcon EW tools are modular and tailorable and can integrate into several platforms and systems. The latest product development in this family of systems is the Peregrine Falcon, a ruggedized, modular, and highly customizable C-UAS capability.
Out of more than 40 C-UAS systems under consideration in summer 2020 for continued development, the DoD JCO selected CACI’s CORIAN as one of three fixed/semi-fixed C-sUAS capabilities. It also selected the Marine Corps’ L-MADIS (Light-Mobile Air Defense Integrated System – an operational variant of X-MADIS) as its supporting mounted/mobile C-sUAS system, dubbing it the best-in-class mobile C-UAS capability.
CACI Expertise and Technology: Shaping the Next Generation of C-UAS
CACI’s C-UAS advanced threat detection, identification, and classification capabilities are constantly upgraded and informed by the operation of our systems around the world. Our engineers continually update and evolve SkyTracker technology to improve the links between tactical and national capabilities and leverage our investments in artificial intelligence (AI) to offer more advanced mitigation capabilities. Our SkyTracker systems, paired with our unique technologies and signals analysis expertise, can detect, identify, locate, disrupt, degrade, deny, capture, or “tip and cue” the vast majority of UAS on the global market today, and are continuing to add support for new and upcoming UAS inside this space. Despite the rapid proliferation of UAS, CACI’s expertise, innovative technology, and growing knowledge base adapts rapidly to this unique and evolving threat.
For more information on C-UAS and SkyTracker, see: