By Peter Roberts
War brings no good to anyone but a few military contractors which boom during times of rising tensions – none more so than drone detection and countermeasure manufacturer DroneShield.
To say that the company is in the right place at the right time to prosper from technological change is a massive understatement – it operates exactly in a sweet spot in the field of drones whose use is envoling as we watch on the battlefields of Ukraine, as well as being used in Hamas attacks on Israel.
Ukraine has been utilising drones en masse and in ways unimagined only a few months ago – for surveillance, targeting, long range strike, as decoys and carrying weapons directly to enemy trenches and armoured vehicles.
The company was propelled to its first ever profit of $4 million in 2023 compared to a loss of $2.9 million in calendar 2022.
Each successive recent quarter has brought rising grant support and sales receipts.
These culminated in the December, 2023 quarter customer receipts and grants of $48 million, six times larger than the previous record quarter ended in September 2023.
2023 revenues were a record $55.1 million, three times that of 2022, while total 2023 cash receipts and grants was $73.5 million, five times that achieved in 2022.
The company now enjoys $57.9 million in cash and a $30 million contract order backlog with $400 million in the company’s sales pipeline.
DroneShield’s products incorporated sophisticated data fusion systems to bring together numerous sensors which scan a battlespace searching for intruding drones, providing command and control capabilities.
Its DroneGun and DroneCannon systems target and disable attacking drones, overwhelming their electronic systems and causing them to land or return to base.
The company announced numerous advances during 2023 including, sales of $10.4 million to Ukraine, a record $33 million deal with a US agency, and a collaboration with Lockheed Martin developing the Agile Shield Program, for the Department of Defence.
Agile Shield has been developed under the Next Generation Technologies Fund framework, as part of DST Group’s Counter Improvised Threats Grand Challenge, and is initially designed to counter uncrewed aerial systems (C-UAS).
And the security situation and momentum behind DroneShield is not easing any time soon.
CEO Oleg Vornik said: We are ready to deliver a strong 2024, after a record 2023.
“We are seeing continuing peak demand from our customer base globally, our competitive positioning and customer reputation are exceptional, and we are ready operationally to meet this demand.”
Part of that readiness is an imminent move into a new Sydney facility three times the size of the present factory.
DroneShield has been rapidly expanding its supply chain including capacity at its Adelaide manufacturing partner which is key to the company’s target of annual production capacity of $300 to $400 million ‘within months’.