The U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD) Office of Naval Research recently awarded a $7.2 million grant and a $7.7 million contract to the University of Missouri-Kansas City for the research and development of technologies to reduce national security threats from small, unmanned aerial vehicles.
“The counter-drone problem is considered a grand challenge — maybe even a wicked problem begging for a comprehensive study of present- and future-art countermeasures,” said Mun Y. Choi, president of the University of Missouri System. “This program will address and improve on countermeasures, significantly impacting the defense enterprise for Missouri.”
According to the DOD, drone threats range from intelligence gathering, to delivery of a weaponized payload, to being caught in the air intake of a jet engine. The four-year grant will focus on advancing high-power microwave electronic countermeasure technologies, and is expected to be the first, cost-effective protection against drones threats.
With an average of $10.5 billion in prime and subcontracts awarded each year to companies located or performing work within the state, the DOD has a large impact on Missouri’s economy. Defense contracting directly affects more than 600 industries and more than 25,000 businesses in Missouri, with Boeing leading the way.
For more on Missouri’s aerospace and defense manufacturing check out our industry page, or contact Steve Johnson, CEO of Missouri Partnership, at 314.725.2688 or via our contact form, for more information on Missouri.