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Directed microwave energy has emerged as a promising solution against swarms of drones. However, the bulkiness of conventional microwave weapons makes them a pain to lug around, and they aren’t as precise as necessary for an environment with friendly and enemy drones. 

Leonidas Pod, a new microwave-emitting pod recently unveiled by Epirus, can sit on the bottom of heavy-lift drones and quickly down sudden drone swarms. The electromagnetic pulse creates a force field capable of disrupting adversary electronics, vehicles, and munitions.

This mobile and compact high-power microwave system has multiple mount options to allow for maximum flexibility. It utilizes the latest solid-state technology from Epirus and can be applied to a range of electronic warfare use cases and mission needs. 

With a unique form factor and open control architecture, Leonidas Pod can integrate with existing airborne systems. When deployed with ground-based Leonidas units, Leonidas Pod enables a multi-layered defense system to protect against autonomous threats, according to the company’s website.

The Leonidas Pod builds off the company’s other, land-based microwave weapons, which use gallium nitride transistors to produce microwaves, rather than clunky magnetron vacuum tubes, of the sort that militaries have been using in radars for decades. It is in fact the first solid-state direct energy microwave that doesn’t require a truckload of coolant to operate. Gallium Nitride has been chosen because of its ability to operate at high voltages with low temperatures, and high power density.

The new system is AI-software-controlled. It causes minimal collateral damage, and its operator can better discriminate between friend and foe, according to defenseone.com.