Aussie-listed drone company soars on investor update

Shares in Aussie listed DroneShield rallied on Monday after the drone detection company said it was seeking to become a defence industry player.

U.S. headquartered, but Australian listed DroneShield has developed pre-emanate drone detection technology to protect people, organisations and critical infrastructure from intrusions.

In filing ASX on Monday prior to the local earnings season, the recently floated company said it wanted to become a defence, or a civil defence industry player, an electronics detection manufacturer and a larger distributor, sending shares soaring 11 percent in early trade.

The company develops sensors and software to acoustically detect drones, a capability which will become increasingly necessary with an estimated 12 million commercial drones expected to be in use by 2020, creating issues not just of civil society, but the security apparatus worldwide.

“What we are seeing now is a proliferation of smaller drones, so the types that are likely to be used by say terrorist organizations or any sort of ‘lone wolf’ attacks … (from) technologies that could perhaps be purchased over the counter and modified for terrorist purposes,” University of New South Wales Indo-Pacific defence researcher Jai Galliott told Xinhua.

Development of key radar detection technologies for small airborne objects such as drones or even balloons with cameras have been lacking, especially for commercial and military aircraft which defence and intelligence agencies are aware of, Galliot said.

“You can imagine how difficult for a military plane’s radar detection system to pick up (the object) if it’s been designed with evasion in mind,” Galliot said.

As the defence and security drone market is expected to grow from 5.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 to 11.1 billion U.S. dollars by 2024, so too the protection market, worth up to 12 billion U.S. dollars, DroneShield said.

DroneShield has rallied since it’s initial IPO at 20 Australian cents (15.20 U.S. cents) per share in June, closing 4.35 percent higher to 24 Australian cents (18.25 U.S. cents) on Monday.