WASHINGTON — Two companies developing drone-frying technologies are combining their products to create what they describe as an anti-drone aerial system capable of tracking and shooting down multiple targets.
Epirus, an American company specializing in directed energy, and DroneShield, an Australian electronic warfare company, announced on June 15 the successful marriage of the former’s Leonidas high-power microwave kit and the latter’s DroneSentry detection and engagement.
Together, they provide “significantly expanded options” for the US Department of Defense and other customers, DroneShield CEO Oleg Vornik said in a statement. “Additionally, there are synergies on the business development front that DroneShield and Epirus are already working on.”
Epirus in November invested about $2.5 million on DroneShield.
Military adoption and deployment of drones has increased, with Russia’s incursion into Ukraine to push their use back into the public eye. The proliferation of aerial threats is prompting the Pentagon to reevaluate its battlefield defenses. High-power microwave systems use bursts of energy to disrupt or destroy distant electronics.
Epirus this year won a $66 million Army prototyping contract managed by Office of Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies, which serves as a bridge between the science and technology community and program executive offices. With the Leonidas equipment, the company is focusing on the service’s indirect fire protection capability, intended to negate rockets, artillery, mortars, rockets and more.
An array of Leonidas was previously attached to a Stryker combat vehicle, in partnership with General Dynamics Land Systems, and was used to fire both individual drones and collective swarms. The ‘Stryker Leonidas’, developed in less than a year, was unveiled at the 2022 Association of the US Army conference.
Colin Demarest is a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covers military networks, cyber and IT. Colin previously covered the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration – specifically Cold War decommissioning and nuclear weapons development – for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award winning photographer.
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