U.S. Army exercise successfully demos directed energy counter-UAV system
FORT SILL, Okla. A recent U.S. Army exercise saw 45 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and drones knocked out of the sky after a high-power microwave and laser dune buggy from Raytheon advanced engaged and destroyed them.
During this Maneuver Fires Integrated Experiment -- known as MFIX -- at the U.S. Army Fires Center of Excellence, military and industry leaders assembled to demonstrate ways to bridge the Army's capability gaps in long-range fires and show off short-range air defense. According to information from Raytheon, the company's high-power microwave system engaged multiple UAV swarms and ultimately downed 33 drones two and three at a time. In addition, Raytheon's high energy laser (HEL) system identified, tracked, engaged, and killed 12 airborne maneuvering Class I and II UAVs and destroyed six stationary mortar projectiles.
"The speed and low cost per engagement of directed energy is revolutionary in protecting our troops against drones," said Dr. Thomas Bussing, Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems vice president. "We have spent decades perfecting the high-power microwave system, which may soon give our military a significant advantage against this proliferating threat."
Raytheon and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory worked together under a $2 million contract to test and demonstrate high-power microwave, counter-UAV capabilities.