Defense tech firm unveils airborne microwave drone-killer — Analysis

Startup that has ex-Pentagon chief on its board says it’s ground-based anti-drone weapon can be carried on a drone

California’s defense company said Monday that the anti-drone weapon can be reduced in size so it can be transported by heavy-duty drones. It is an adapted ground-based product that the company has tested over the past year. The microwave cannon is low-cost and designed to destroy swarms enemy drones.

The firm has unveiled the airborne version of Epirus’ Leonidas system, the Leonidas Pod. This can be used in conjunction with its ground-based counterpart. “create a layered defense forcefield”It stated that the area was protected in a press release.

The “forcefield”This is not an alien contraption capable of absorbing beamer blaster radiation. This is an example of an area in which enemy electronic systems could be jammed or fried easily by the system.

Leonidas uses galium nitride transistors to generate direct energy. This is in contrast to bulkier magnetron-vacuum tubes that have been the basis of active radar technology for many decades. In the middle 2000s, solid-state parts were a promising method to produce powerful microwaves. The components have a lower physical footprint and are more efficient in producing microwaves. “wind up” faster than the magnetron-based systems – “in minutes, not hours,”Epirus spoke highly of the airborne cannon.

This ground-based system was successful tested last year three times and has been praised for being smaller and more efficient than other options. It’s also software-targeted and can strike down enemy drones after telling them from friendly units in a group, according to Defense One.

Epirus was established in 2018 to fill a niche on the rapidly growing market for counter-drone products. It is closely connected to the US defence industry. The board is chaired by Mark Esper, a former defense secretary. John Abizaid, formerly commander of US CENTCOM, serves as an advisor.

Before joining Epirus in 2020, its CEO Leigh Madden headed Microsoft’s national security unit, pushing the tech firm, on behalf of which he offered more advanced cloud computing applications to the Department of Defense. Chief Financial Officer Ken Bedingfield held the same position with US defense behemoth Northrop Grumman before joining Epirus’ leadership around the same time as Madden. After signing a strategic supplier arrangement with Northrop Grumman, which gave it access to Leonidas, the company raised $70 million of venture capital.

After the success of its tests last year, General Dynamics Land Systems was approached by the company to help integrate their system with the US Army Stryker combat car, manufactured by General Dynamics’ Michigan subsidiary.

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