Non-Kinetic Protection for Military Bases 

Non-Kinetic Protection for Military Bases 

050627-N-0295M-021 St. Inigoes, Md. (June 27, 2005) – A group photo of aerial demonstrators at the 2005 Naval Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Air Demo held at the Webster Field Annex of Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Pictured are (front to back, left to right) RQ-11A Raven, Evolution, Dragon Eye, NASA FLIC, Arcturus T-15, Skylark, Tern, RQ-2B Pioneer, and Neptune. The daylong UAV demonstration highlights unmanned technology and capabilities from the military and industry and offers a unique opportunity to display and demonstrate full-scale systems and hardware. This year’s theme was, “Focusing Unmanned Technology on the Global War on Terror.” U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Daniel J. McLain (RELEASED)

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An advanced counter drone system is concluding an operational assessment. Drone swarms have posed a challenge to both high-cost weapons systems and small arms, which have limited range and effectiveness against multiple small targets. Drone swarms can conduct surveillance of military bases, destroy infrastructure and even attack warfighters. To counteract this threat and provide additional layers of base defense, the US Air Force Research Lab has created the Tactical High-power Operational Responder (THOR).

This counter-swarm electromagnetic weapon provides a “non-kinetic” defense to fend off multiple targets. Once a target is identified, THOR uses high-power microwaves to cause a counter electronic effect, discharging in an instant with immediate impact. 

Using a focused beam of energy, THOR can disable multiple drones in a large target area at the same time, giving air bases a light-speed, low cost-per-shot solution to fend off enemy drone forces.

The system was designed and built in record time and is currently concluding an operational assessment, the prototype has already been put through a number of challenges.

“Our recent field assessment had an almost 90% effectiveness by operators in the field, who had just been trained on the system,” according to THOR Deputy Program Manager Capt. James Wymer told AFRL News. “THOR is an early demonstrator and we are confident we can approach a 100% kill rate by refining the hardware and improving operator training.”