Leonardo Secures Contract to Provide Canadian Armed Forces with Advanced Counter-Drone Technology

Leonardo, the defense, and aerospace company, has been selected by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to equip the Canadian Armed Forces with its Falcon Shield Counter-Uncrewed Aerial System (C-UAS). This system is designed to protect Canadian airspace, installations, and personnel from the escalating threat posed by rogue drones. Following its operational success with the UK Armed Forces, where it played a crucial role in safeguarding critical assets and national security, Falcon Shield’s adoption by Canada marks a significant expansion of its global footprint.

The contract encompasses the delivery of multiple Falcon Shield systems along with a comprehensive 10-year sustainment package, offering additional equipment and capability development options. The initial systems are slated for delivery within the year, with immediate deployment to forward operating bases to ensure the protection of deployed personnel.

Falcon Shield addresses the challenge of detecting group 1 to 3 drones—characterized by their smaller size, slower speeds, and low-altitude flight—which often evade conventional air surveillance systems. It achieves this through a combination of sophisticated sensors developed by Leonardo and its industry partners, enabling rapid threat detection, tracking, and prioritization, and providing operators with effective countermeasures.

In addition to its service with the UK Armed Forces, Falcon Shield has gained the trust of allied nations and is available for international export. Leonardo continually updates the system to maintain its effectiveness against the dynamic backdrop of drone-related security threats.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) in the UK utilizes Falcon Shield (referred to as ORCUS in RAF service) as part of its ‘Synergia’ research and development program, also leveraging the technology as a national standby capability to support Emergency Services. Notably, Falcon Shield has been deployed during high-profile events such as the 2021 G7 summit and the 2022 Commonwealth Games, as well as in response to drone incidents at London’s major airports, ensuring the safe continuation of air operations.

Leonardo’s collaboration with the United States Armed Forces, particularly in integrating the US Air Force Research Laboratory’s NINJA technology with the RAF’s ORCUS system, underscores the international cooperative effort in advancing counter-drone capabilities.

The upcoming ‘Counter Uncrewed Aerial Systems Sandbox 2024’ exercise in Suffield, Alberta, will feature Leonardo operating Falcon Shield to counter simulated drone threats, further demonstrating the system’s operational effectiveness and versatility in protecting critical military assets and infrastructure.