Timothy Bean, Chief Executive Officer – Fortem Technologies in an email interview with Raksha Anirveda explains about the company’s continuous effort towards development of groundbreaking products, new techniques and its focus on growth acceleration, globally.
RA. Tell us more about your recently released SkyDome System 3.7 and its components. How does it extend long range end-to-end drone mitigation solution?
TB. The Fortem SkyDome System consists of a low-cost, small-form factor family of Fortem TrueView radar (the world’s most advanced low SWAP-C radar system with AI technology for detecting, tracking and classifying multiple, simultaneous small, low-to-the-ground airborne objects) and the Fortem DroneHunter, a drone which autonomously pursues, captures and tows away dangerous drones with no collateral damage. The updated SkyDome System 3.7 now commands the furthest distance for safely stopping an autonomous drone threat approaching a protected venue, campus or metro region by pairing DroneHunter’s extensive mitigation range with a long-range camera option that extends the ability to validate a target visually. This update adds longer range target validation and implementation of additional unique urban clutter suppression algorithms which enables the defeat of low flying targets at longer ranges in urban and other highly cluttered environments.
Fortem’s AI-enabled interceptor drone DroneHunter, proved its effectiveness by demonstrating safe removal of a threatening drone from a complex airport environment at the Oslo Airport test event. What are the key features that differentiates DroneHunter from competition?
TB. Fortem’s DroneHunter is the premier AI-enabled interceptor drone. A few key differentiators include:
- It was specifically designed to operate safely in complex environments while causing no collateral damage during the capture process.
- It is fully autonomous and radar-guided, custom built for speed and agility. The deep integration with onboard TrueView radar makes autonomous detection, pursuit and defeat of drones extremely efficient and safe
- It can disarm small or large drones, towing away small rogue drones in its tethered nets or entangling larger, fixed-wing drones and attaching a drogue chute to safely ground its target.
- It is effective day or night and can detect and disarm even so-called “dark drones” – ones which have their RF signals turned off, rendering them invisible to many other security systems.
RA. The military drone space is considered to be a sizeable market with immense growth potential. What are your strategic plans to tap the market globally and strengthen your position as a leader both in terms of technical prowess and market share?
TB. Since its inception, Fortem has worked with the US Department of Defense. The Fortem DroneHunter grew out of an early DARPA program. We continue to develop our groundbreaking products and provide it to appropriate government entities to keep civilians and cities safe. Our plans include new techniques for safely mitigating very large Group 2 and Group 3 drones which are of grave concern to many military and national police agencies, and for dealing with coordinated attacks by multiple drones.
RA. Fortem Technologies has an impressive list of strategic partners – Boeing, Toshiba and others. Please provide an insight into these strategic partnerships and your global footprint expansion.
TB. Our main objective, when it comes to these strategic partnerships, is to accelerate growth. Toshiba is actively selling our product worldwide and throughout Japan and we have over a dozen projects going on internally with Boeing.
RA. Fortem Technologies is considered to be a leader in modern airspace safety and security. Recently, at Dubai Air Show 2021 you spoke on counter-drone capabilities and lessons learned from their deployments. Kindly provide a brief account on how the deployment lessons have helped Fortem to fine tune its counter-drone solutions and product offerings.
TB. There’s two things we’ve learned: hostile drones are getting larger and the number of drones attacking simultaneously is increasing. Fortem has enhanced its system to address these evolving threats. The more we can learn from actual deployments of counter-drone activities, the better we can prepare ourselves to prevent a future attack.
RA. India is considered to be a lucrative yet challenging aerospace and defence market. Are you looking forward to entering and tapping the Indian aerospace and defence market in near future?
TB. We’ve gotten lots of traction in the country throughout the year. We’ve given numerous in-country demonstrations to multiple customers and are in discussions with key stakeholders in India to discuss solutions to the pandemic of threatening drones. India is experiencing an onslaught of dangerous drone incursions which threaten civilian and military infrastructure as well as the sovereignty of its borders – Fortem is well positioned to help put an end to this outrage.