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Drones – Disruptive Operations and Countering: Vulnerabilities and Opportunities

This course will give delegates an introductory-level appreciation into disruptive drone activities, elements of system design, insights into potential vulnerabilities and methods for defeating the devices. Whilst land and water-based drones (surface and sub-surface) are included, the course primarily considers airborne systems, and the challenges in defeating them. Latest industry-based technology and solutions are included, where commercial restrictions allow.

Special Notices

This course was written by and is delivered by Tony Reeves.

  •   Qualified and experienced Trials Officer with the UK MoD Air Warfare Centre
  •   Led complex flight trials including Fast Jets, Maritime Patrol, UAS and ISR capabilities
  •   Acceptance lead for ScanEagle UAS into service with the Royal Navy in 2013
  •   Integrated Air Defence System specialist
  •   RAF Electronic Warfare Officer
  •   MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper experience – weapons, airborne trials, Concept of Employment, Air Operations Centre roles
  •   Worked with all current and recent UK MOD UAS programmes

Learning Objectives

The course aims to give delegates a solid grasp of how drone systems are designed, recent technological advances, and where the next capability enhancements are likely to be. We examine the effects of disruptive drone operations throughout the programme, counter-drone capabilities and an understanding of the vulnerabilities that may exist in a typical drone operation. Delegates will gain an understanding of what makes a drone a difficult target, and what is needed to close the current gap in capability between the drone and the systems seeking to detect and defeat.

Delegates will appreciate the imbalance between drone availability and counter-drone systems. They will understand the growing relationship between cyber and drones and consider where the next advances are likely to come from.

We aim for our delegates to leave the seminar better equipped to make informed decisions, and ask hard capability questions of systems vendors. Our delegates will understand operational and technical planning considerations, and ultimately deliver better capability to their users.

Delegates will leave the seminar with the following outcomes:

  •   Understand how drone systems are designed and constructed.
  •   Understand the differences between IT and OT elements.
  •   Appreciate the manner in which drones can be used for disruptive or nefarious purposes.
  •   Consider a number of real-world examples of drone operations.
  •   Understand where drones can be vulnerable.
  •   Understand the Industry perspective on counter-drone operations.
  •   Understand some of the legal and regulatory challenges
  •   Gain an appreciation of some of the latest industry solutions.
  •   Understand what questions need to be asked of potential solution providers.


A basic understanding of drones would be beneficial but not essential. Attendance with a clear understanding of the business problem the delegate wishes to address would be helpful.

This course is aimed at non-specialists in the drone or counter-drone fields, programme / project managers and those who have responsibilities for detection and defeating drones, or organisations seeking to understand current capabilities as part of a procurement activity.

Course Content

Module 1 - Drone Technology

This module helps delegates understand how drones work, and covers the following subjects:

  •   Typical drone examples – air, land and sea (surface / sub surface).
  •   Understanding an exemplar airborne system.
  •   The blend of IT and OT (Operational Technology) and why that is relevant.

Module 2 - Drone Operations

This module describes a range of drone operations that may be disruptive, hazardous or nefarious in nature. This module covers the following subjects:

  •   Understand the range of ways drones can be operated.
  •   Typical real-world examples.
  •   Understand the growing relationship between cyber and drones.

Module 3 - Where Drones Can Be Vulnerable

This module describes key areas of drone vulnerabilities, and covers the following subjects:

  •   Where drones can be vulnerable.
  •   Key elements of detection and defeat.
  •   Understand the imbalance: drone availability vs counter-drone systems.

Module 4 - Countering Drones – Industry Solutions

This module details a number of currently-available industry solutions from an independent perspective, seeking ground truth on capabilities than can purchased.

  •   A number of exemplar solutions.
  •   Legal and regulatory challenges.
  •   Where the next advances need to be, and the focus of research.
  •   Some questions to ask the solutions vendors.

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