Following in the Footsteps of THOR

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As the danger from drone swarms evolves, US military services are working closely to ensure emerging technologies will be ready to support warfighters’ needs. While current small arms have limited range and effectiveness, larger arms have high costs compared to their target.

The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) wants to develop a new counter electronics weapon system to strengthen defenses against hostile drone attacks. The lab is looking for partners for that purpose.

The new Mjolnir prototype project is set to follow in the footsteps of the successful Tactical High-Power Operational Responder (THOR) project. This prototype Directed Energy weapon disables drones and is designed to counter-attack even hostile drone swarms.

The THOR demonstrator “uses bursts of intense radio waves to disable small unmanned aircraft systems [sUAS] instantly,” AFRL said.

The Mjolnir project (called after the hammer of the thunder god Thor in Norse mythology) will utilize the same technology as the THOR project, adding in some upgrades and improvements in capability, reliability, and manufacturing readiness.

The program will begin this fall with a delivery of the prototype weapon in 2023, according to a program official cited by