Australia’s Electro Optic Systems has readied the initial shipment of Slinger anti-drone systems destined for battle-ravaged Ukraine.
This initial shipment consists of ten systems, primarily designed to provide protection against small Russian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Slinger's price tag is less than $1.55 million per system. It aims to take down drones at a cost of between $155 and $1,550 per engagement.
Iranian Shahed model used by Russia to target tanks and cities costs about $31,000. The missiles used to shoot them down can cost 10 times as much.
"If you're using a $100,000 or $200,000 missile to shoot down a $10,000 drone, that doesn't work for most countries,” retired Australian major general Mick Ryan said.
The Slinger system can be affixed to civilian pickup trucks, enhancing its maneuverability and compatibility with various vehicles. It comprises a Bushmaster M230LF 30mm gun, an FN MAG 7.62mm machine gun, as well as an optical-electronic system and radar. This combination boasts remarkable precision when targeting diminutive aerial threats such as the DJI Phantom.
The manufacturer claims that the Slinger system can eliminate a DJI Matrice drone at a distance of 1.4 kilometers and a DJI Phantom at 1 kilometer. The optical-electronic system's detection range spans 12 kilometers in the daytime channel and 13.7 kilometers in the nighttime channel.
The initial reports about the transfer of Slinger anti-drone systems surfaced on August 29, 2023, via the official EOS website. A total of 160 Slinger systems are slated for transfer to Ukraine, where they will be deployed by mobile air defense units. With a weight of up to 400 kilograms, the system is adaptable for installation on both civilian and military wheeled and tracked platforms.
The Slinger system can employ Proximity Sensing Ammunition with radio frequency proximity-fuzed technology, allowing it to engage small drones effectively. When equipped with thermal imaging and night vision devices, the gun can achieve a firing rate of either 100 or 200 rounds per minute.
Notably, Ukrainian authorities have placed orders for 110 of these systems for installation on М113 armored personnel carriers, while another 50 were commissioned by the company Practika, intending to integrate them into their armored vehicles. The cumulative value of this order stands at approximately $170 million.