The Russian defense industry is working on several models of anti-drone weapons to improve the military’s protection.
In a report on January 14, 2020, Air Recognition detailed some of the handheld anti-drone weapons that are being developed in Russia, which include the Garpun-M, Pishchal, and REX-1. The Russian military has begun to emphasize anti-drone weapons more in response to the experience in the campaign in Syria, where Russia’s Hmeymim airbase has come under attack by militant-operated drone swarms.
The Garpun-M is developed by New Technologies Telecommunications and can be provided in a stationary or mobile version. It is used to block command channels for drones, disrupting the operator’s ability to utilize a drone. It has a range of at least 500 meters, making it ideal for the lowest level of defense in an integrated anti-drone network. According to Air Recognition, it operates in eight frequency bands.
Another weapon, produced by Avtomatika Concern, is the Pishchal. It is designed to detect, identify, and counter-act drones, Avtomatika CEO Vladimir Kabanov noted. He added the weapon is simple to operate and has a compact size.
Lastly, REX-1 is geared towards disabling drones within a direct line of sight. Air Recognition reported that the weapon has a jammer that can suppress satellite navigation within a five kilometer radius. REX-1 weighs 4.2 kilograms.
In late 2017, Syrian militants launched a drone swarm to attack Hmeymim airbase. Though the drones were rigged with crude weapons, they proved able to cause a significant amount of disruption within the base, which was not adequately equipped to fight a swarm of unmanned systems. In response to the attack, Russia has sought to improve its defenses against drone systems.