Monday, November 16, 2020

Northrop Grumman plans to use EMP systems to defeat drone swarms

U.S. defense contractor Northrop Grumman has announced that it formed a strategic supplier agreement with Epirus, Inc. to offer the company’s Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) capability as a component of  Northrop Grumman’s Counter-Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) systems-of-systems solution offering.

According to a company news release, the new advanced EMP capability will use to defeat UAS swarms, and specifically supplements the company’s suite of non-kinetic C-UAS effects.

“UAS threats are proliferating across the modern battlespace,” said Kenn Todorov, vice president and general manager, combat systems and mission readiness, Northrop Grumman. “By integrating the Epirus EMP weapon system into our C-UAS portfolio, we continue maturing our robust, integrated, layered approach to addressing and defeating these evolving threats.”

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Northrop Grumman’s end-to-end C-UAS solutions deliver a layered architecture with a full complement of kinetic and non-kinetic effects, aerial and ground sensors and the battle-hardened, proven and deployed Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control (C2) system, recently selected by the U.S. Army as the interim C2 system for counter-small-UAS capabilities.

Epirus’ C-UAS EMP system — called Leonidas — is designed for static and mobile C-UAS defense and utilizes solid-state commercial semiconductor technology to deliver capability with unprecedented reduction in size and weight. This enables increased stand-off ranges and speed-of-light engagements that do not suffer from issues with magazine depth and capacity. When fired, a Leonidas creates an EMP that can be steered for precision engagements, or adjusted to sanitize a volume of terrain or sky, creating a force field effect.

“We’re excited to work closely with the Northrop Grumman team to support their C-UAS systems-of-systems solution offering,” said Bo Marr, chief technology officer at Epirus. “Our unprecedented EMP capabilities will complement this offering as we continue to look to the future to understand how asymmetric threats will evolve.”

Epirus Inc. is a third-year startup that develops EMP weapons for the U.S. military. Their team combines veteran experience from aerospace and the Special Operations community. Their offices are located in Los Angeles, California.

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