The Slinger counter-drone system developed by Canberra-based EOS Defence Systems is expected to be delivered to Ukraine by the end of the year as part of a US military aid package. In August, EOS confirmed the first Slinger exports to Ukraine.
The Slinger counter-drone system was inspired by the Slinger soldiers of history, who were known for their precise aim in throwing small stones to defeat enemies from a distance. The system is capable of countering modern drone threats with just one shot.
EOS Defence Systems executive vice-president Matthew Jones said the weapon system could be mounted on a heavy 4×4 for operation or for unmanned ground vehicle configuration.
“The Slingers have been contracted by Northrop Grumman, we received a purchase order for three systems, and there’ll be more to follow after the first three. The Slinger configured systems use an M230LF light-weight 30mm cannon… with single-shot engagement beyond 800 metres,” he said.
“We’ve been in trials with Northrop Grumman on this particular capability for actually a couple of years, and this will be their first export sale of the Slinger capability.”
“The configuration that we’re delivering under this contract is a manned vehicle, a four-by-four US truck mounted configuration with the operator operating the system from within the cab, and the system mounted on the back in the tray.”
The system includes a radar, a 30mm cannon with specialized ammunition, and EOS’s exclusive stabilization and pointing technology. The Slinger can track and engage moving drones beyond 800m, making it ideal for urban environments due to its unique ammunition. It was designed based on lessons learned from conflicts such as in Ukraine, and it can handle contemporary and emerging threats.
The Slinger system is a high-precision weapon platform that weighs less than 400 kg and is fully stabilized for on-the-move operation. It includes an Echodyne ultra-low size, weight, and power (SWaP) 4D targeting radar with active beamsteering ESA, a 4-axis sighting system with a sensor unit that moves independently of the gun in both elevation and azimuth, and exquisite pointing technology for extreme accuracy. The system also includes a Bushmaster M230LF 30 x 113mm cannon, lightweight 30 mm Proximity Sensing Ammunition with radio frequency proximity-fuzed, high explosive, fragmentation round, and a wind sensor.
Speaking to ABC News, Matt Jones from EOS said: “We’ve seen this massive proliferation of drone threats in Ukraine. The issue is the types of systems you would currently use to defeat drones are way too expensive to defeat a $10,000 or even a $1,000 drone.”