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Infantry Weapons

US Army teams with Lockheed Martin to develop Airborne High-Powered Microwave UAS

11 December 2018

As the US Army continues to look for new technologies to down adversaries' drones, the service is teaming up with Lockheed Martin on a project to equip unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) with a high-powered microwave (HPM) capability to down other unmanned aircraft.US troops assigned to 1st Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, operate the Drone Defender during a counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) drill in Iraq in October 2018. The US Army recently awarded Lockheed Martin a USD12.5 million contract to produce an airborne high-powered microwave C-UAS. (US Army)US troops assigned to 1st Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, operate the Drone Defender during a counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) drill in Iraq in October 2018. The US Army recently awarded Lockheed Martin a USD12.5 million contract to produce an airborne high-powered microwave C-UAS. (US Army)

In late November, the service announced on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website that it had awarded Lockheed Martin a USD12.5 million contract to produce an airborne HPM counter-unmanned aircraft system (C-UAS) "capable of negating adversary UASs in a timely and efficient manner". Potential UAS payloads include explosives, nets, entanglers/streamers, and HPM sources.

The Pentagon and services have largely been tightlipped on C-UAS developments, and a Lockheed Martin spokesperson declined to discuss technology specifics such as the HPM's frequency, system range, the size of UAS the system is designed to down, and the fielding and development timetable.

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