Air Force Research Lab to Evaluate Raytheon’s Counter-Drone Laser Weapon, Microwave Systems

The Air Force Research Laboratory is set to test high-energy laser and high-power microwave systems  Raytheon developed to help the U.S. military take down unmanned aerial system threats.

AFRL will evaluate the company’s HELWS and Phaser platforms along with the laboratory-built Tactical High Power Operational Responder in an overseas field assessment that will last for 12 months, the U.S. Air Force said Monday.

“Drones are becoming more and more pervasive and can be used as weapons intended to cause harm to our military bases at long standoff ranges,” said Kelly Hammett, director of directed energy at AFRL.

Hammett added the lab equipped THOR with an electronic technology that works to deter adversarial drones through a rapid-fire mechanism.

Michael Jirjis, base defense experimentation director in the Air Force Strategic Development Planning and  Experimentation Office, said the lab seeks to explore the potential of directed energy systems and help the service branch determine a path forward on counter-small unmanned aerial systems.

The SDPE Office previously tested laser and microwave systems at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico and at Fort Sill in Oklahoma.

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