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Ukraine to receive British 'drone hunter': What's known about anti-drone system Terrahawk Paladin

Ukraine to receive British 'drone hunter': What's known about anti-drone system Terrahawk Paladin Terrahawk Paladin ADS (Photo:
Author: Daria Shekina

The new military support package from the United Kingdom to Ukraine includes the advanced Terrahawk Paladin ADS (Anti-Drone System). This system will help in repelling drone attacks thanks to its artificial intelligence-based tracking system, capable of recognizing even birds.

Sources used in preparing the material include statements from the official website of the UK government, articles from Defense Express, Military portal, the Military Media Center telegram channel, and information from the MSI Defence Systems website.

Terrahawk Paladin from the UK

On October 11, 2023, the government of the United Kingdom announced another package of support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. Among the equipment announced is the mobile anti-drone air defense system Terrahawk Paladin, manufactured by the British company MSI Defence Systems.

MSI Defence Systems is a leading manufacturer of remote-controlled installations. Their gun installations are actively used worldwide and provide reliable protection for ships against surface and aerial threats. The TerraHawk Paladin was first demonstrated a year ago, and an updated version was released in the autumn of 2023.

According to the UK government's announcement, the Terrahawk Paladin ADS is designed to track and destroy drones, as well as protect critical national infrastructure. The exact quantity of systems Ukraine will receive is currently unknown.

Characteristics of the Terrahawk Paladin system

The Terrahawk Paladin is considered a classic anti-drone system. It combines an automatic cannon with a digital fire control system and a radar system.

This MSI Defence Systems installation is a mobile platform. It can be transported to its deployment point on a truck and can also be used in a stationary mode.

The Terrahawk system can engage targets at distances of up to 2 km using its cannon. In the standard configuration, it is equipped with a 30mm automatic cannon, the Mk44 Bushmaster II. This cannon has a dual-feed system, allowing it to use two different types of ammunition, including programmable airburst rounds, and semi-active laser-guided rockets like APKWS.

Potential threats are tracked over a 360-degree area by an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.

Additionally, the system includes an optical target acquisition and tracking system with both daytime and nighttime channels, enabling target destruction in all weather conditions. This optical sighting station, known as SATOS, is developed by MSI and features a thermal imager and laser rangefinder.

The Terrahawk Paladin system is autonomous and is powered by a generator.

Remote control is carried out by operators using handheld control units. The system requires only two operators: one responsible for target surveillance and the other for target engagement.

Ukraine to receive British 'drone hunter': What's known about anti-drone system Terrahawk PaladinPhoto: The system can be operated by two operators (

Artificial intelligence for efficient elimination of Shahed drones

The Terrahawk Paladin anti-drone system utilizes artificial intelligence for target tracking. The control system factors in ballistic compensation and employs an advanced target recognition algorithm developed by the Polish company Advanced Protection Systems.

Terrahawk can track multiple targets simultaneously and provide precise three-dimensional real-time object location.

According to the Military Media Center, thanks to machine learning, the AI in Terrahawk can classify flying objects, allowing it to distinguish between drones and birds.

Ukraine to receive British 'drone hunter': What's known about anti-drone system Terrahawk PaladinPhoto: Terrahawk Paladin can be deployed as a standalone anti-drone system or as part of an integrated system (

Compared to stationary anti-drone systems, Terrahawk Paladin offers significant tactical and strategic advantages, whether deployed as a standalone system or as part of an integrated anti-drone system.

According to the specialized military portal Defense Express, the British Terrahawk system, especially when combined with programmable munitions, is an effective solution for economically countering threats like the Shahed-136.