Raytheon has demonstrated to the US Air Force (USAF) the ability of its advanced high power microwave (HPM) and mobile high energy laser (HEL) systems to down drones.
During the demonstration, the HPM and HEL technologies engaged and defeated multiple unmanned aerial system (UAS) targets.
Raytheon noted that these technologies can provide an affordable solution for the service to combat the growing UAS threat.
The HEL system works alongside the company’s Multi-spectral Targeting System. It uses invisible beams of light to defeat hostile drones.
The system is mounted on a Polaris MRZR all-terrain vehicle and is designed to detect, identify, track and engage UASs.
Raytheon Electronic Warfare Systems vice-president Stefan Baur said: “Countering the drone threat requires diverse solutions. HEL and HPM give frontline operators options for protecting critical infrastructure, convoys and personnel.”
The HPM technology, which uses microwave energy to disrupt drone guidance systems, allows users to focus the beam to target and instantly defeat drone swarms.
The system features a consistent power supply to ensure virtually ‘unlimited’ protection from threats.
Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems vice-president Dr Thomas Bussing said: “After decades of research and investment, we believe these advanced directed energy applications will soon be ready for the battlefield to help protect people, assets and infrastructure.”
The firm’s HEL and HPM were the sole participants in the experimentation demonstration under the directed energy systems category.
These speed-of-light technologies are intended to offer protection to ground troops.
Previously, these systems downed 45 unmanned aerial vehicles and drones in a US Army exercise, known as Maneuver Fires Integrated Experiment, held in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.