The scenes at Gatwick Airport last month, as many people were trying to return home to loved ones for Christmas, were deeply troubling, and it was entirely right that the Government mobilised the resources needed to resolve the situation that had brought air traffic over Gatwick to a halt.
It was therefore great to hear that it was one of our own South Northants companies - Enterprise Control Systems (ECS) of Wappenham – that helped to restore order in the skies through the deployment of one of its Anti Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Defence System (AUDS) at Gatwick. ECS formed a consortium with two other British SMEs - Blighter Surveillance Systems of Great Chesterford and Chess Dynamics of Horsham – which leads the world in counter-drone technology, and their solutions are used by governments globally including UK, US, France, Japan, and South Korea. The US Department of Defence has used the AUDS system in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2016.
I was pleased to have opened ECS’s factory in Wappenham some years ago, and I was delighted when their CEO – Colin Bullock – got in touch with my office in December to let me know that his company had been called out to Gatwick to sort out the airport’s drone problem. Within an hour of being contacted, ECS had dispatched a complete AUDS system for use at Gatwick.
Colin said that, with Gatwick and Heathrow both procuring AUDS systems, he was pleased and proud that UK cutting edge technology had finally been recognised and deployed on home territory.
Another example of fantastic British technological innovation leading the pack!