Soon, overseas US Air Force bases will be reinforced with energy weapons systems to defend against enemy drones. We are talking about three systems - laser HELWS and high-energy microwave guns PHASER and THOR.
The HELWS laser weapon system was developed by defense contractor Raytheon based on the Polaris MRZR all-terrain vehicle. The laser is paired with an advanced electro-optical / infrared sensor designed to detect, identify and track drones.
Having detected the target and having received the command to destroy it, the HELWS crew fires a shot. The system can be operated from a conventional 220-volt outlet and is designed for several dozen shots per charge. The HELWS multispectral targeting system is, in fact, the same surveillance and tracking system that is installed on the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper drones.
The PHASER high-energy microwave gun, which is mounted in a shipping container, is also the brainchild of Raytheon. It only takes her one microsecond to disable the electronic stuffing of the drone, after which it will fall to the ground. Due to the conical shape of the beam, PHASER can hit several targets at once with one impulse.
The THOR system was developed by the United States Air Force Research Laboratory. This electromagnetic weapon, designed to counter drone groups, also comes in a shipping container. It takes three hours to set up.
HELWS, PHASER and THOR will be deployed first to foreign air force bases and then to the United States.