skip to main content

Pentagon hunts for high-power microwave weapons to down drones

US Army officials want to evaluate high-power microwave (HPM) systems large enough to protect fixed sites from incoming drones and if they find promising ones, they plan to award subsequent prototyping contracts.

Charged with evaluating counter-drone technologies for the Pentagon, the army's Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft System (C-sUAS) Office recently issued a request for HPM White Papers. Vendors have until 29 November to submit their paperwork about systems that can down class 1, 2, and 3 aerial drones.

“The HPM, ground-based aerial denial, is defined as solutions that utilise focused electromagnetic pulses from a fixed-ground location at various ranges with energy sufficient to destroy or defeat unmanned aerial systems over the air,” the service wrote. “HPM electronic attack results in physical damage to [the] targeted electronics or power cycling required to continue operations. Jamming or denial of communication links is not the focus of this effort and will result in not being selected.”

Army officials leading the effort will evaluate the submitted White Papers and select up to five companies to proceed to the ‘oral presentation' phase. Systems that they view favourably will be invited to a tech demonstration at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, an event that could occur in April 2022.

During this demonstration phase, the service will evaluate the HPM systems to determine their ability to integrate with the Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control (FAAD C2) system, technical maturity, price point, and more.

If army officials view HPM technologies as ‘favourable', they may award one or more prototyping contracts that could morph into follow-on production deals.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...