Drones have become integral to modern warfare, as seen by their growing use in Ukraine and along Israel's borders. This rise in drone adoption can be traced to dramatic cost reductions and rapid technological advancements in recent years. Between 2020 and 2023, DJI, a leading drone manufacturer, cut their average drone price from $1600 to $280. From 2015 to 2023, drones saw a 96% weight reduction, an 88% increase in battery life, and a 483% boost in maximum range. Unfortunately, this improved accessibility and performance have also made drones attractive tools for terrorists.
The Hamas terror attack on October 7th, where modified commercial drones carrying explosives were used to disable Israel's $1.1 billion border fence, underscored the warnings about the danger of drones that the team at Regulus Cyber had been sounding for years. Regulus is at the forefront of the counter-drone technology market and the company rapidly expanded their operations in the first weeks of the war. Utilizing a unique military-grade system with GPS spoofing technology, Regulus has become a significant player, offering a lightweight and rapidly deployable solution for military divisions in Israel and the US.
A ready-to-use counter-drone solution
The global defense industry sees Israel’s war with Hamas as a showcase for modern security threats and solutions. The use of drones by terrorists has underscored the immediate need for effective counter-drone technology to address real-world scenarios. Regulus Cyber's GPS Ring system, which utilizes unique GPS spoofing techniques to disarm drone threats, has emerged as a go-to solution. Its compact size, swift deployment capabilities, and user-friendly operations make it ideal for scenarios now unfolding on Israel's borders and beyond.
The Ring system uses satellite signals to detect and neutralize any drone threat that depends on GPS or GNSS for navigation. This system can be deployed against a variety of threats, including aerial, maritime, fixed-wing, and homemade drones. Notably, these systems are lightweight and can be set up within minutes.
"The biggest takeaway from this conflict is that drones can and will attack both tactical assets such as tanks, cameras, and soldiers and strategic assets such as critical infrastructure, gas platforms and military bases, and you can’t rely on a solution that takes two hours to deploy. The need was understood before, but now that we’re experiencing it firsthand, it changes the sense of urgency,”
says Yonatan Zur, CEO and Co-Founder of Regulus.
Regulus had already conducted multiple tests and evaluations in partnership with the Ministry of Defense and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) prior to October 7th. They had also supplied them with some smaller-scale systems - systems that had already proven their effectiveness in previous outbreaks of war. However, the real-time threat of drone attacks on Israel's borders meant that usually lengthy bureaucratic processes were replaced with instant orders.
“The war drove demand overnight. Everything accelerated. The entire industry is now involved.“
To meet the sudden increase in demand, the Regulus team, which includes team members working remotely from reserves, had to adopt an even more agile approach. They quickly adjusted their operations to source components for large orders and traveled across the country to install systems and provide support. The team has been working 24/7 to meet incoming orders.
“We’ve experienced rapid changes in how we operate. It’s an aggressive effort. For a small company, it’s been a serious stretch,” says Zur.
The growing potential of defense startups
In the world of defense technology startups, success is often a long and unpredictable journey. However, once you crack the sales cycles, the revenue potential is vast and the customers are sticky.
Anduril, a defense tech company, recently announced projected revenue of $1 billion by 2026 – five times its expected revenue of $200 million in 2022. Shield AI anticipates revenue of approximately $165 million in 2023, a growth of over 90% compared to 2022.
Zur notes that processes already in place outside of Israel have been accelerated, and he anticipates a continued rise in orders from international clients after the war.
"We just sent one of our sales engineers to the US. It was already planned before the war. But the context of the war makes it an opportune time to go over there and demo," said Zur.
The increasing demand for Regulus's counter-drone technology reflects a broader industry trend and goes to show that innovation can disrupt traditional norms in the defense industry.