Pentagon wrapping up checks for brand new ‘microwave weapon’

The US Navy and Air Drive will quickly full a five-year analysis effort right into a high-tech directed vitality system

The US army will run a “capstone check” for a brand new high-power microwave weapon, in accordance with Pentagon builders, who additionally famous progress on a separate microwave system supposed to carry down enemy “drone swarms.”

Last trials for the Excessive-Powered Joint Electromagnetic Non-Kinetic Strike Weapon (HiJENKS) will likely be performed collectively by the Air Drive Analysis Laboratory (AFRL) and the Workplace of Naval Analysis at a army base close to California’s China Lake, a part of intensive checks this summer season which marked the top of a five-year improvement mission. 

Jeffry Heggemeier, who leads the AFRL’s high-power electromagnetics division, mentioned the weapon nonetheless hasn’t discovered a platform, however famous that its smaller measurement would enable for a wide range of makes use of in fight.

“We’ll begin taking a look at extra service-specific purposes as soon as we’ve accomplished this check that demonstrates the know-how,” he informed reporters throughout a briefing late final month.

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The HiJENKS is designed to make use of high-powered microwaves to disable enemy electronics, constructing upon earlier work carried out greater than a decade in the past below the Counter-electronics Excessive Energy Microwave Superior Missile Challenge, often known as CHAMP.

The Air Drive can also be making headway on one other directed vitality microwave system, the Tactical Excessive Energy Operational Responder (THOR), which goals to “disable drone swarms” which may threaten troops or army bases, in accordance with THOR program supervisor Adrian Lucero.

“There are different effectors on the market which are supposed to go towards drone programs like weapons, nets and laser programs,” Lucero mentioned throughout the identical June presser. “However what THOR brings to the desk is it has a bigger vary to have an effect on and it has a decreased engagement time.”

A prototype for THOR was not too long ago despatched overseas for testing, throughout which improvement groups tried to increase the system’s vary and enhance its energy, Lucero went on, including that the weapon was 94% dependable in the course of the trials and proved it could possibly be helpful “in the actual world.”