“Colonel, the Drones are Attacking! What Do We Do?” “Microwave ‘Em”

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Firing up the microwave could nullify an attack by armed drones, according to tests run by the U.S. Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO). High powered microwaves launched via the Indirect Fires Protection Capability (IFPC) system could have the capability to destroy a drone swarm, according to DefenseNews.com.

Currently in development stages, the IFPC could be ready for demonstrations in 2022, with deployment pencilled in for 2024, stated RCCTO director, Lt. Gen. Neil Thurgood. Focusing on hypersonics and precision energy weapons, the goal of the RCCTO is to maximize efficiency and reduce costs. A 100-kilowatt laser system is the first one being tested by the military.  

“Lasers can do things, but if you are a combatant commander, there is a toolbox of things you need to be successful on the battlespace,” stated Thurgood. “It’s not just one tool but a series of tools.”  

For this project, the Army is partnering with the Air Force to develop the microwave technology needed, with the Air Force providing the research and development piece and the Army building the prototype. The resulting weapon capabilities should allow the U.S. military to take down a drone swarm en masse rather than having to target individual objects. 

August 21, 2019   

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