MBDA’s Licorne pocket air defense command and control (C2) system has become the first fielded C2 to integrate anti-drone and traditional air defense capabilities.
Licorne is a very lightweight C2 solution with the ability to co-ordinate very short range air defense (VSHORAD) systems, such as those of the Mistral family. A highly mobile C2, it is derived from the I-MCP and PCP systems family currently in use with armed forces in export markets, using the same software components, architecture and human machine interfaces (HMI).
In order to deliver an effective response to the emergence of asymmetric threats, and particularly mini-drone attacks on deployed ground-to-air assets or other military assets inside the protected zone, Licorne can now also deploy anti-drone measures, and co-ordinate them with the traditional air defense assets.
To achieve this, MBDA has supplemented its C2 with a set of data link detectors and jammers originally developed to provide security for events or prisons, which have been adapted to military needs. For detection, Licorne uses a mobile radio frequency detection unit produced by Cerbair to intercept mini-drone data link transmissions. Once the threat has been detected and located, Licorne allows operators to activate countermeasures using a network of field-deployed jammers developed by KEAS.
Licorne’s scalable architecture is designed to enable the system to provide a first level of co-ordination for the VSHORAD systems used by rapid reaction forces, airborne units and amphibious units. Licorne provides surveillance, detection and identification functions with a high level of connectivity. It can be used in association with passive infrared 360° surveillance sensors, lightweight radars or ESM and acoustic sensors.
Pocket C2 Licorne provides all the functions expected of a C2, including multi-sensor data fusion; real-time ranging; shared tactical position calculation; and even uploading battery sensor images to upper command levels using standard NATO military data link protocols such as JREAP-C.
With a significant presence in five European countries and within the USA, in 2017 MBDA achieved a turnover of 3.1 billion Euros with an order book of 16.8 billion Euros. With more than 90 armed forces customers in the world, MBDA is a world leader in missiles and missile systems.
MBDA is the only European group capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems that correspond to the full range of current and future operational needs of the three armed forces (land, sea and air).
In total, the group offers a range of 45 missile systems and countermeasures products already in operational service and more than 15 others currently in development.
MBDA is jointly held by Airbus (37.5 %), BAE Systems (37.5 %), and Leonardo (25 %).