The Air Force Research Laboratory has released a video animation of its Tactical High-power Operational Responder (THOR) that “realistically depicts” its capabilities in destroying drone swarms and other airborne threats.
THOR, a prototype Directed Energy weapon, can shoot high-energy lasers that can kill one target at a time, while it can also emit high-powered microwaves capable of killing groups or swarms.
“The system output is powerful radio wave bursts, which offer a greater engagement range than bullets or nets, and its effects are silent and instantaneous,” said Amber Anderson, THOR program manager. The system can be transported in a military cargo plane and assembled by just two people.
According to the video, THOR offers a “low-cost per shot, speed of light solution” that can stop drone swarms before they can threaten to destroy critical infrastructure. It serves as a good alternative to small arms, which are limited in their range and effectiveness; and large arms, which come with a high cost in comparison to their target.