General Dynamics' Stryker Will Counter Drone Swarms With a Microwave Weapon

Boasting a directed energy.
Ameya Paleja
Stryker system with the counter-drone upgrade.General Dynamics Land Systems

In an effort to counter the emerging threat of drone swarms, General Dynamics Land Systems struck a strategic agreement with Epirus Inc. to integrate their directed energy weapons into its Stryker combat vehicles, a press release said. 

In service since 2002, the Stryker combat vehicles have been constantly upgraded in light of changing warfare techniques. When deployed in Iraq, these combat vehicles had to be protected from the rocket-propelled grenades but were recently found to be lacking against unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Europe. As warfare moves at lightning speed from drones to drone swarms, General Dynamics, the manufacturer of Stryker vehicles, is looking to arm the vehicle with a directed energy weapon.

To accelerate the pace of this upgrade, the defense manufacturer has teamed up with Los Angeles-based Epirus Inc., which has developed a counter-electronics system, Leonidas, capable of handling single as well as multiple threats. 

According to its website, the system uses software-defined high power microwave (HPM) technology. Epirus claims that advances it has made in directed energy weapon systems allow it to drastically reduce the size of the system and it uses artificial intelligence (AI) to control solid-state power amplifiers that produce extremely high power outputs.  

The system uses open control architecture that will facilitate easy integration not only into the Stryker system but any other existing platforms across the U.S. military. Apart from drones, the system can also be used to counter electronics used by adversaries, rendering them bereft of technology during combat.

“This partnership with Epirus benefits the Army’s Stryker mobile Short-Range Air Defense (SHORAD) formations by offering cutting-edge, counter-electronics and counter-swarm capabilities,” said Danny Deep, President of General Dynamics Land Systems in a press release. 

Earlier in August, this year, we had also reported that the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) had developed a laser weapon to improve its SHORAD capabilities. 

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