July 4, 2024 at 9:44 am

US Navy Looking To Debut Powerful New Anti-Drone Weapon Using Microwave Technology In 2026

by Michael Levanduski

Source: Staff Sgt. Donald Holbert/US Marine Corps

The US Navy is the most dominant force on the oceans of the world, but they do not want to sit back and allow other countries to catch up.

This is why the military is constantly investing in new technologies to maintain or extend the dominance it currently enjoys.

According to information released by the US Navy, a new weapon that has been developed will be ready for testing onboard active vessels as early as 2026.

This new weapon is known as Project Meteor and works by emitting powerful beams of electromagnetic energy. The goal of this microwave weapon is to disrupt the internal electronics of drones and other potential threats.

According to the US Naval Institute News, the Meteor weapon will:

“Provide capability with low cost-per-shot, deep magazine, tactically significant range, short time engagement for multi-target approach, dual deception and defeat capability.”

Using energy-based weapons like this will provide many advantages compared to projectiles or explosives.

When mounted on large ships that are powered by nuclear reactors, for example, the energy needed to fire the weapon would be readily available and very inexpensive.

In addition, these types of weapons will be able to target fast-moving drones and other equipment using advanced targeting technologies.

Source: UK Ministry of Defence

Having an effective anti-drone weapon is more important than ever because unmanned planes, ships, and other weapons are becoming more and more common throughout the world.

Even poorly funded enemies can use small drones to pose a real threat to US ships. The fact that they can be so small and fast can also make them difficult to hit using traditional weapons.

This is just one of several directed energy weapons programs that the US Military is researching. Using energy rather than projectiles in a growing number of weapons is likely to happen in years to come.

Dr. Frank Peterkin, the Principal Director for Directed Energy in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering commented on this, saying:

“Directed energy is basically electromagnetic radiation, whether it’s light or RF [Radio Frequency] energy, and therefore travels at the speed of light.”

He went on to explain:

“For those of you who haven’t looked up your physics books recently, for comparison, we talk about hypersonic threats being really, really fast – that’s somewhere in the 5 to 15 Mach range. The speed of light is about 100,000 times faster than anything we or anybody else is fielding with hypersonic systems. It’s really fast.”

Of course, other countries are also researching similar technologies, which is one of the reasons the US wants to get this project in operation as soon as possible.

Source: UK Ministry of Defence

When it comes to warfare, the race for dominance is never-ending.

It’s kind of terrifying, to be honest.

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