14 November 2023
In today’s contested environment, Defence needs to counter the threat of today, while also preparing to counter those we aren’t yet aware of.
Agile Shield is a tactical system designed to detect, neutralise and mitigate improvised threats in a complex battlespace, helping to address the problems of tomorrow.
Developed for Defence by Lockheed Martin Australia’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Leadership and Research Laboratory (STELaRLab), the system uses a range of sensors and effectors to defeat these threats, which can include unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and improvised explosive devices.
Agile Shield also uses simulation technology, allowing users to adjust and configure the system based on the environment.
The capability was recently put to the test in its first field demonstration at Puckapunyal Military Area in Victoria, in collaboration with the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG).
Over three weeks, the battle management system was subjected to a real-life field evaluation, as well as a series of live demonstrations for select Defence personnel.
DSTG’s Counter Improvised Threat program lead Jeff Vesely said the demonstration will help Defence understand how to best optimise a system for future use against a small UAS threat, like drones.
“Unmanned aerial systems under 25kg have become a real problem because they are low-cost. It can cause more problems for tracking systems because they are trying to identify something that size hovering close to a target,” Mr Vesely said.
Senior military adviser in DSTG’s Land and Integrated Force Division, Brigadier David Westphalen, said the system was designed to minimise risk from these threats.
“Any system that reduces the risk to the war fighter and civilians in the battlespace will enhance our likelihood of success,” Brigadier Westphalen said.
Mr Vesely said Agile Shield also “gives us a lens to understand how industry can best collaborate with DSTG”.
The partnership with STELaRLab, as well as other industry and international partners, shows how Agile Shield is helping to transform an innovative concept into a lifesaving capability for the war fighter.