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Pentagon completes testing of new weapon that uses microwave technology to disable adversary electronic systems

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Although a suitable platform has yet to be found, its small size would allow for a variety of uses in combat.

The US Armed Forces will conduct a final test to a new weapon that uses microwave technology to disable adversary electronic systems, according to Pentagon developers.

US Navy and Air Force research laboratories will carry out the final tests of the High Power Non-Kinetic Joint Electromagnetic Strike Weapon (HiJENKS) in a military base, near California’s China Lake, as part of intensive testing marking the end of a 5-year development project.

Jeffry Heggemeier, head of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s high-power electromagnetism division, indicated that a platform for the weapon has not yet been found, however, its small size would allow for a variety of uses in combat. “We’ll start looking at more specific apps for each service once we’ve done this test demonstrating the technology,” he told reporters last week.

The HiJENKS is designed to use high-power microwaves to disable enemy electronics, based on previous work done more than a decade in the framework of the Project of Advanced High Power Microwave Missiles Contrael Electronics, also known as ‘CHAMP’.

Other developments

The Air Force is also working on a version most advanced of its Tactical High Power Operational Response (THOR) system, which uses high-power microwave technology power to disable swarms of drones, which pose a threat to military bases. This next generation platform is called ‘Mjölnir’, in homage to the mythical hammer of the god of Norse mythology Thor . It is expected to be delivered in early 2024.

Adrian Lucero, director of the THOR and Mjölnir program, told reporters during the same briefing that anti-drone systems are becoming increasingly more relevant, as the technology of unmanned aerial vehicles advances. “There are other effectors out there that are meant to go against drone systems, like guns, nets, and laser systems”

, he emphasized. “But what THOR brings is that it has a greater range of affectation and a shorter response time,” he concluded.

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