Tomahawk missile maker Raytheon Co has announced on 30 April that its newest advanced high power microwave and mobile high energy laser systems engaged and defeated multiple unmanned aerial system targets during a U.S. Air Force demonstration.
The mature high power microwave and high energy laser (HEL) technologies offer an affordable solution to the growing unmanned aerial system threat.
The HEL system, paired with Raytheon’s Multi-spectral Targeting System, uses invisible beams of light to defeat hostile UASs. Mounted on a Polaris MRZR all-terrain vehicle, the system detects, identifies, tracks and engages drones.
“Countering the drone threat requires diverse solutions,” said Stefan Baur, Raytheon Electronic Warfare Systems vice president. “HEL and HPM give frontline operators options for protecting critical infrastructure, convoys and personnel.”
Raytheon’s HPM uses microwave energy to disrupt drone guidance systems. High power microwave operators can focus the beam to target and instantly defeat drone swarms. With a consistent power supply, an HPM system can provide virtually unlimited protection.
“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,” said Dr. Thomas Bussing, Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems vice president.
Raytheon’s HEL and HPM were the only directed energy systems that participated in this Air Force experimentation demonstration. The event expanded on previous directed energy demonstrations such as a U.S. Army directed energy exercise held in 2017.