JERUSALEM — The Dutch military has ordered an Israeli system to counter drones, the company announced this week.
“The Dutch military has tested the system during the recent year, and decided to purchase it and use the systems immediately, mainly for C-UAS [counter-unmanned aircraft system] purposes,” Smart Shooter said in a statement.
The Netherlands will acquire the Smash AD system, building on previous orders from Smart Shooter. Sharone Aloni, the vice president of research and development at the company, said the system is part of the wider family of Smart Shooter solutions, with some additional enhancements made for counter-drone capabilities.
“We all know that the drone threat is becoming more and more acute, and we are looking to face it with all kinds of different needs. All our systems support counter-UAS capabilities. This variant has a few additions,” he said, including in the field of optics, an extended range and the incorporation of a laser range finder.
Smart Shooter did not provide a contract value, and the Dutch government did not respond to an inquiry by Defense News by press time. Michal Mor, founder and CEO of Smart Shooter, hopes the contract leads to more deals in NATO and European countries. The company has a local office in Germany and a subsidiary in the United States.
Israeli defense companies often do not discuss specifics of customers, and Smart Shooter said it does business in 15 countries, it can’t go into significant detail. “Customers are defining specific needs in specific verticals and they choose this for specific needs. Some take the Smash Hopper for borders; some will take this for radars or vehicles,” Mor said, referring to the company’s lightweight remote control weapon station.
Mor added that the market for Smash technology on rifles relates to transforming optics and fire control, much like navigational apps have changed how smartphones are used.
“This is our vision of what modern armies will have in digital fire control systems. Hopefully we can bring the infantry to a new world: smart, precise and connected soldiers,” she said, although the company did not elaborate on what ground force units might use its technologies.
Current range for the system is around 250 meters, which pairs with the effective range of hand-held assault rifles. Aloni foresees the system increasing situational awareness and connectivity, with the possibility of linking to battle management systems as well as C4I (command, control, communications, computers and intelligence) systems in order to provide data for higher-level decision-makers.
The system went through testing and evaluation in The Netherlands, Aloni said, and the Dutch tested the system in extremely cold conditions in Austria.
Smart Shooter’s Dutch representative, Technische Bureau H.A. Muller, is to take care of the logistics and direct support.
Seth J. Frantzman is the Israel correspondent for Defense News. He has covered conflict in the Mideast since 2010 for different publications. He has experience covering the international coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, and he is a co-founder and executive director of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis.