New Truck-Mounted Directed-Energy Weapon System Revealed

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The British Army began trials of a new mobile-directed-energy system as part of Project EALING, which employs advanced radio frequency technology to interfere with electronic circuits and aims to provide a strategic countermeasure against drone threats.

The new radiofrequency “cannon” for the British Armed Forces is now mounted on a smaller, detachable HX60 truck instead of the originally planned HX77 (offering improved deployability and maneuverability), and is designed to detect, track, and engage a variety of targets across domains of air, land, and sea.

According to Global Defense News, the system can disrupt multiple drones simultaneously through powerful radio frequency transmissions and includes its own detection sensors that enhance its operational independence.

Matt Cork, program manager at the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), explained that the system operates by generating an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that couples with electronic circuits, overloads them, and switches them off – a non-lethal approach that’s designed to temporarily disable electronic systems without causing permanent damage.

Cork also noted that these experimentations with electromagnetic pulse technology are exploring its potential to protect areas or moving convoys from explosive-laden drones, which pose a significant threat in modern conflicts.

While the specific range and wavelengths of the weapon are classified, it is known that the technology uses commercially available components that were initially developed to disable boat motors. Furthermore, the system’s versatility allows for precise targeting or adjustment to broader frequencies to address multiple threats simultaneously.

When reflecting on the broader implications of radio frequency weapons, Defense Secretary Grant Shapps noted the pivotal role such technologies could play in future conflicts, especially considering the extensive use of electronic warfare observed in Ukraine, and mentioned that the ability to conduct operations in radio wave-dominated environments will be crucial.

Field testing for the EMP technology is meant to begin this summer, and the evaluations will help determine the practical applications and possible enhancements.