Pentagon wrapping up tests for new ‘microwave weapon’ — Analysis
A five-year-long research project by the US Navy and Air Force into high-tech, directed energy systems will be completed soon.
The US military will manage the country “capstone test”According to Pentagon developers, there is a need for a high-power microwave weapon. They also reported progress in a separate microwave system that could be used to defeat enemy forces. “drone swarms.”
Final trials for the High-Powered Joint Electromagnetic Non-Kinetic Strike Weapon (HiJENKS) will be conducted jointly by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the Office of Naval Research at a military base near California’s China Lake, part of intensive tests this summer which marked the end of a five-year development project.
Jeffry Heggemeier, who leads the AFRL’s high-power electromagnetics division, said the weapon still hasn’t found a platform, but noted that its smaller size would allow for a variety of uses in combat.
“We’ll start looking at more service-specific applications once we’ve done this test that demonstrates the technology,”In a briefing held late last month, he spoke to journalists.
HiJENKS uses high-powered microwaves in order to destroy enemy electronic devices. This builds upon work done more than ten years ago under Counter-electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project (also known as CHAMP).
Air Force also makes progress on a directed energy microwave system called the Tactical High Power Operational Responder. “disable drone swarms”According to Adrian Lucero, THOR’s program manager Adrian Lucero, this could pose a threat to troops and military bases.
“There are other effectors out there that are intended to go against drone systems like guns, nets and laser systems,”Lucero spoke during that June presser. “But what THOR brings to the table is it has a larger range to affect and it has a decreased engagement time.”
A prototype for THOR was recently sent abroad for testing, during which development teams attempted to extend the system’s range and increase its power, Lucero went on, adding that the weapon was 94% reliable during the trials and proved it could be useful “in the real world.”
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