High-power microwaves and lasers defeat multiple drones during US Army exercise
Forty-five unmanned aerial vehicles and drones fell out of the sky, downed by Raytheon’s advanced high-power microwave and laser dune buggy in a U.S. Army exercise. The exercise was known as Maneuver Fires Integrated Experiment, or MFIX, and was held at the U.S. Army Fires Center of Excellence in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Military and industry leaders gathered at MFIX to demonstrate ways to bridge the Army’s capability gaps in long-range fires and maneuver short-range air defense. Highlights included:
- Raytheon’s high-power microwave system engaged multiple UAV swarms, downing 33 drones, two and three at a time.
- Raytheon’s high energy laser, or HEL, system identified, tracked, engaged and downed 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 technologies.
“Our customer needed a solution, and they needed it fast,” said Dr. Ben Allison, director of Raytheon’s HEL product line. “So, we took what we’ve learned and combined it with combat-proven components to rapidly deliver a small, self-contained and easily deployed counter-UAV system.”