A 1st Security Forces Assistance Brigade (SFAB) Soldier uses a Drone Defender to capture and control a drone as its flying, Mar. 6, 2018. The Drone Defender uses an electromagnetic pulse to disable its target and has a range of 600 meters. (U.S. Army photo by Mr. Brent Thacker)
The U.S. Army wants an airborne microwave canon that can take down drones.
The Army is planning to purchase a Counter Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) from Lockheed Martin with the goal to “field UASs with payloads capable of negating adversary UAS,” the Army said in its solicitation notice.
In other words, the Army wants to disable or destroy a drone with an airborne microwave beam.
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The Counter UAS is based on proprietary intellectual property from Lockheed Martin, who would develop and supply the system, the Army said in the notice.
Lockheed Martin has a long history of developing directed energy systems. The company has developed laser weapon systems, radio frequency and other directed energy technologies for air, ground and sea, according to its directed energy web page.
Going forward, the focus for these systems is on improving accuracy, mobility, size, weight and power, cooling, and minimal collateral damage, according to Lockheed Martin.
This comes in the wake of the alleged drone attack against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro earlier this month. The attack seems to have been carried out by drones carrying explosives. The drones allegedly exploded while he spoke at a military ceremony in Caracas.
A pair of hexacopter (six-rotor) drones appeared to carry the explosives, according to a report in Bellingcat.