Forty-five unmanned aerial vehicles and drones fell out of the sky during a U.S. Army exercise after Raytheon’s advanced high-power microwave and laser dune buggy engaged and destroyed them. These common threats were knocked down during a Maneuver Fires Integrated Experiment at the U.S. Army Fires Center of Excellence.
The directed energy system emits an adjustable energy beam that, when aimed at airborne targets such as drones, renders them unable to fly.
The event, known as MFIX, brought military and industry leaders together to demonstrate ways to bridge the Army’s capability gaps in long-range fires and maneuver short-range air defense, Raytheon said.
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 killed 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 capabilities.
“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.”
Raytheon Company, with 2017 sales of $25 billion and 64,000 employees, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass.