Department 13 International (ASX: D13) has teamed up with major global defence contractor Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) to market and support Department 13’s MESMER counter drone solution and co-develop new technologies.
A counter drone solution, Department 13’s patented MESMER product can be integrated into security and surveillance systems to detect and mitigate dangerous drones which may be used in malicious acts including war and espionage.
The operator of MESMER can take control of a drone and either safely land, redirect the device or return it to its launch place. The technology can also control swarms of drones at the same time using different radio protocols.
Department 13 chief executive officer Jonathan Hunter said the agreement with Raytheon marked a “milestone” for the company.
As part of the collaboration, Raytheon and Department 13 will seek opportunities to market the MESMER device across Raytheon’s global network. The duo will also investigate advancing the MESMER technology.
“Raytheon is a global leader in developing unmanned system situational awareness, mission management and command and control systems,” Mr Hunter said.
“Raytheon’s strong ties to key customers globally, combined with its quality controls and assurance, will add a great amount of depth and breadth to our MESMER development efforts,” he added.
Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services program director Bob Busey said the duo would also work together to develop unique counter drone technologies to defend against the growing threat of adversaries which use commercial drones to target the US and other nations.
Raytheon achieved US$24 billion in sales during 2016 with the company distributing its mission support and defence products to more than 80 countries.
The latest contract follows the inking of a distribution agreement with Tokyo-based Nippon Kaiyo last month.
With more than 38 million people living in Tokyo, alone, Department 13 believes Japan’s market is a crucial one for the company – particularly with the country’s reputation for technology uptake.
First shipments of MESMER v1.5 began in August with two more units sold by mid-December for around US$400,000 each.
Department 13 now has distribution agreements with customers across Latin America, US, Australia, South East Asia and Europe.
Department 13 shares shot up more than 12% to A$0.093 within the first few minutes of trade.