As a collaboration hub for academia, industry, government, and military, Estonia is firmly establishing itself as a hotbed of innovation in the defence industry. The engineering minds of Estonia’s tech and startup landscape are working closely with the military in an agile and innovative ecosystem.
The war in Ukraine has only strengthened Estonia’s resolve over the past year, with both public and private sectors pouring resources into defence solutions with the potential to make waves on the global stage.
Estonian-founded Marduk is one of the latest examples of Estonia’s commitment to defence both in cyberspace and the physical world. Founded in 2017, this is the company behind the world-class electro-optical anti-drone platform Marduk Shark which uses patent-pending artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to detect, recognise, and target a variety of small to medium-sized drones.
Why we need anti-drone solutions and why most of them aren’t cutting it
Ahead of Defence59, an event showcasing Estonian defence technology, Marduk COO Leet Rauno Lember said: “Drones have been playing a big role in the war in Ukraine and other similar conflicts, highlighting the need for sophisticated drone detection and mitigation solutions. As the use of drones continues to increase in various areas such as military, civilian and industrial operations, the need for effective counter-drone measures to protect critical infrastructure, sensitive areas and public safety has become more vital than ever.”
While the need for anti-drone solutions has never been greater, the technology largely hasn’t been keeping up with demand. Most affordable anti-drone systems today intercept and jam the radio frequency communications between the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and the operator. Advances in computer vision, however, enable UAVs to accomplish their missions in radio silence.
This is where Marduk Shark enters the conversation. Marduk’s flagship product can passively detect small drones from a distance of up to 3 km and larger drones from even further. This makes it highly effective for protecting critical infrastructure and sensitive areas.
What really makes Marduk Shark stand out is how it doesn’t stand out. One of the system’s biggest draws is its passive camera-based detection method: Marduk can detect drones without emitting any signals itself that would make it vulnerable to detection by outside observers.
The system also integrates with various sensors and effectors — such as radars, RF sensors, and jammer guns — making it highly customizable and versatile for use in different environments and scenarios.
Big plans for a safer future
Marduk has been awarded an Estonian Ministry of Defence grant and is already actively participating in various European development programs. The technology has also seen action in NATO military exercises, has been shown to do well in harsh climates and is used in the NATO airbase in Ämari, Estonia. The tech works — now it’s time to kick development into high gear.
See Marduk’s pitch at Defence59 here:
Invest in the defence sector
The Marduk team, currently 10 people strong, has extensive experience in AI, robotics, mechanics, and defence. Continuously working on improving the product and expanding its capabilities, the team is looking for an additional investment of between 500,000 and 1 million euros. That level of investment would empower Marduk to reach the next milestones and continue to create the highest-quality drone detection solutions for a safer world.
Wish to invest in Marduk or some other Estonian DefenceTech startup? Fill out our e-Consulting form, and one of our investment advisors will get in touch soon.