美国陆军测试用于击败无人机的新型微波武器

美国空军研究实验室的战术高功率作战应答器是为空军基地防御而开发的。(由美国空军提供)

美国军官员表示,在新墨西哥州的柯特兰空军基地进行现场演示后,美国陆军将最早于2024年对一种新的微波武器进行实地测试,该武器旨在保护军事基地免受来袭的无人机的袭击

据《阿尔伯克基杂志》报道,THOR(战术大功率作战响应者的缩写)是在Kirtland空军基地建造的,可针对同时威胁军事设施的多个目标提供保护。

美国陆军中将尼尔·瑟古德表示,他本月初在基地观察了该武器系统,该部门对微波和激光武器的投资解决了一个日益严重的问题,这一问题需要新的作战措施来保卫部队和基础设施。

尼尔·瑟古德声称:“美国陆军的定向能武器将需要以多种方式提供分层防御,以抵御即将来临的敌方威胁。” “高能激光一次只能杀死一个目标,而高功率微波则可以杀死一群目标,这就是我们追求将两种技术结合在一起的原因。”

建造了THOR的美国空军研究实验室定向能部门负责人凯利·哈米特(Kelly Hammett)表示,美国陆军计划从2021年10月开始作为合作伙伴进行投资,并于2024年开始实地测试。美国陆军不太可能在2026年之前部署该系统。

“他们打算在2024年采购足够的系统,以便对多种武器进行实验,”哈米特告诉《阿尔伯克基杂志》。“他们会将微波和激光整合在一个单元中,以评估如何全部部署。”

美国空军的该实验室与总部位于阿尔伯克基的工程公司Verus Research以及BAE Systems和Leidos合作,斥资1500万美元建造了THOR。它于2019年首次演示了该系统。

项目经理安伯·安德森(Amber Anderson)之前说过,该系统像手电筒一样工作,它使用的波会传播开来以禁用电磁波照射内的任何物体。

安德森说:“系统输出是强大的无线电脉冲,与子弹或蚊帐相比,提供更大的作战范围,其作用是无声的和瞬时的。”


 

US Army to test new microwave weapon for defeating drones

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The U.S. Army will conduct field-testing of a new microwave weapon designed to protect military bases from incoming drones as early as 2024, following an on-site demonstration at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, officials said.

THOR, which stands for Tactical High Power Operational Responder, was built at Kirtland AFB and provides protection against multiple targets that simultaneously threaten military installations, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

Army Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood said he watched the weapon’s system on the base earlier this month and that the service’s investment in microwave and laser weapons addresses a growing problem that requires new tools to defend troops and infrastructure.

“The Army’s directed-energy capabilities will need to provide a layered defense with multiple ways to defeat incoming threats,” Thurgood said. “High-energy lasers kill one target at a time, and high-powered microwaves can kill groups or swarms, which is why we are pursuing a combination of both technologies.”

Kelly Hammett, head of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Directed Energy Directorate that built THOR, said the Army plans to invest as a partner starting in October and begin field testing by 2024. It’s unlikely the military will deploy the system before 2026.

“They intend to procure enough systems for a platoon unit in 2024 to do experimentation with a mix of weapons,” Hammett told the Albuquerque Journal. “They will put microwave and lasers together in a single unit to assess how to deploy it all.”

The laboratory spent $15 million to build THOR in cooperation with Albuquerque-based engineering firm Verus Research as well as BAE Systems and Leidos. It first demonstrated the system in 2019.

Program manager Amber Anderson previously said the system works like a flashlight, using a wave that spreads out to disable anything within its electromagnetic cone.

“The system output is powerful radio bursts, which offer a greater engagement range than bullets or nets, and its effects are silent and instantaneous,” Anderson said.

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