Epirus has delivered the first of four high-powered microwave-based counter drone swarm systems to the US Army.
The initial Indirect Fire Protection Capability – High-Power Microwave (IFPC-HPM) system is part of a $66-million contract the firm clinched in January ahead of six contenders.
Based on the company’s Leonidas system, the IFPC-HPM is an electromagnetic pulse system that disables an aerial target by zapping its electronics.
It can neutralize a single target in a crowded space and multiple targets across a wide area.
It is designed to allow for future enhancements through software updates.
The microwave system underwent an acceptance test for personnel and fuel safety before delivery, further validating its progression to operational capability.
Further tests and evaluation are slated for the development of tactics, techniques, and procedures for future use.
“In January, we began our work with RCCTO (Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office) to deliver an operational high-power microwave weapon to the Air Defense community – and, today, we have done so in record time,” said Epirus CEO Ken Bedingfield.
“With our Army associates, the team at Epirus has developed and demonstrated unprecedented HPM capability in just nine months.”
Indirect Fire Protection Capability
The IFPC-HPM is part of a broader Indirect Fire Protection Capability (IFPC) intended to protect fixed and semi-fixed assets from aerial threats such as drones, rockets, artillery, mortars, and cruise missiles.
The IFPC comprises a mix of kinetic interceptors and direct energy weapons such as lasers and microwaves.
It is intended to bridge the gap between short-range air defense systems, the Patriot, and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system.
Dynetics is contracted to deliver 16 IFPC launcher prototypes and expected to deliver 12 of them by early 2024, according to Defense News.