An image of a 3-D solid model of the Tactical High Power Microwave Operational Responder (THOR) system. The system is used for modeling and simulation before integrating and testing. Courtesy/Verus Research and BAE Systems
KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE ― The Air Force Research Laboratory has a new high power microwave system that will be a major asset to the warfighter.
The Tactical High Power Microwave Operational Responder (THOR) is a directed energy weapon that disables the electronics in flying drones. The technology is housed in a shipping container-sized unit.
Drones are emerging threats to U.S. military bases and infrastructure. THOR will provide non-kinetic defeat of multiple targets at once. The output of the system is powerful radio waves, which enables a greater range than bullets or nets. The technology also causes less of a disruption to military operations due to its instantaneous effect.
“As small unmanned aerial systems become more prevalent and cheaper to acquire, they can be a threat to U.S. military operations,” said program manager Amber Anderson. “Kinetic solutions such as bullets, net guns, etc., have limited effectiveness against such systems. The challenge is to design, build and test an effective counter-UAS system. High Power Microwaves are one potential solution.”