The Pentagon tests a high-power microwave technology to use against drone threats

According to a story published by Defense News on Wednesday, the Pentagon's Joint Counter-Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office has completed tests of The Epirus system, a high-power microwave technology capable of disabling many drones at once.

Testing the effector's emissions

The Pentagon isn't the first to demonstrate the technology. It held two more in the spring and fall of last year. The most recent test took performed at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona for a week, from April 4 to 22.

“What we primarily focused on in that first week for high-power microwave was how well the effector emitted,” said Michael DiGennaro, the test team lead for JCO’s acquisition and resourcing division, during a May 11 media roundtable.

“We were looking at range to engage the targets that were inbound and the amount of time it took to either deter or defeat the target."

The Epirus system, according to DiGennaro, "was able to defeat targets in the range that is normally associated with what is currently in the field, and has the promise to be a little bit more effective in the future.”

Countering small UAS

The Pentagon also assessed technology that may fight small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), selecting from a pool of 25 whitepapers submitted for consideration. Anduril Industries, Black Sage, CACI (California Analysis Center, Inc), Rafael Systems Global Sustainment, and SAIC were among the five businesses chosen (Science Applications International Corporation).

“We had five very complex architectures out there,” DiGennaro added. “Each of them brought a host of different components for detection, identification, tracking, and defeat, and we tested against each of those components both individually and then as a system, culminating in a ‘defend the forward-operating base’ scenario.”

Important data was collected as a result of these military exercises, which will be shared with the Defense Department at a later date.
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