Raytheon to Supply Antennas for US Frontline Directed Energy Weapon

Raytheon has accepted a $31.3-million contract to design, manufacture, and test antenna prototypes for the US military’s Directed Energy Front-line Electromagnetic Neutralization and Defeat (DEFEND) program. 

DEFEND seeks a modernized weapon system that uses microwave energy to engage aerial threats at the speed of light.

For the project, the company will provide two high-powered microwave antennas compatible with battlefront deployment for the US Air Force and Navy.

Design for these devices will be “rugged and transportable” to ensure availability and response during combat.

Work for the project will be conducted in Tucson, Arizona, in collaboration with the US Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Air Force Research Laboratory, and Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division.

Each antenna will be delivered in 2024 and 2026.

“Non-kinetic defense systems are a key part of America’s national defense strategy,” Raytheon Advanced Technology President Colin Whelan stated.

“The new iterations of Raytheon’s high-power microwave systems are cost-effective and reliable solutions that operate at the speed of light – enabling our warfighters to defend against faster and more maneuverable threats.”

Recent Directed Energy Projects in US

The US Marine Corps contracted Virginia company BlueHalo in November to provide a high-energy laser weapon for the service’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle fleet.

In September, the US Army accepted four short-range directed energy prototypes to test their interoperability with land vehicles.

The army signed a $221-million contract with Lockheed Martin earlier this year to develop a similar capability to secure fixed and semi-fixed infrastructure, a separate $66.1-million contract with Epirus for counter-drone operations, and another $45.7-million with BlueHalo for Infantry Squad Vehicles.

In June, the Air Force Research Laboratory completed a series of flight tests for a beam director concept that can be equipped with aircraft-based directed energy laser systems.

Related Articles

Back to top button