Epirus Delivers New High-Power Microwave Prototype to US Army

Defence Industry

Washington: The US Army has accepted delivery of Epirus’s first high-power microwave prototype for a new developmental initiative aimed at protecting soldiers and facilities from swarms of aerial drones, the company announced.

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The delivery marks the first of four prototypes derived from the company’s Leonidas counter-unmanned aircraft systems (cUAS) system that Epirus owes the service after inking a nearly three-year, $66.1 million contract in December 2022 for the Indirect Fire Protection Capability–High-Power Microwave (IFPC-HPM) initiative. A company spokesman said the plan is to now deliver the second directed energy weapon to the Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) by the end of December and complete delivery of the full platoon of four IFPC-HPMs early next year.

“The IFPC-HPM platoon will undergo capabilities and limitations testing by the Army to develop tactics, techniques and procedures for how the capability will be used in theatre as part of a layered defence posture for the counter-UAS mission,” the spokesman wrote in an email.

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Epirus has been developing and showcasing its Leonidas HPM for several years, including via a teaming agreement with General Dynamics Land Systems where the duo integrated the HPM onto a Stryker. Then earlier this year, Epirus announced it “outperformed” six other systems during various test events to win the Army’s sole-source IFPC-HPM contract.

The company spokesman did not specify just what changes have been made to the Leonidas system to get it ready for the Army’s IFPC-HPM program but said the system is a “continued maturation of our technology, marked by increased lethality against UAS threats, which we’ve enhanced via our software weaponeering.”

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“The government acceptance test was a critical validation of system effectiveness, safety for friendly personnel and assets and [Forward Area Air Defence Command and Control] FAAD C2 integration,” he added. “Put simply, this is our most powerful and precise system yet.”