This Portable Weapon System Can Take Down Groups of Drones With Microwave Energy

Leonidas can target and destroy multiple drones at once. 3 photos
Photo: Epirus
Leonidas is anti-UAV weapon systemLeonidas is anti-UAV weapon system
A swarm of deadly drones getting closer and closer looks like a scene from a sci-fi movie, but it could become a reality sooner than we might think. The military is already working on countermeasures for electronic weapon systems, but there’s a new anti-drone system ready to shake things up like never before. Meet Leonidas.
Developed by a Los Angeles-based startup called Epirus, this anti-drone system doesn’t seem so dangerous at first sight. But, underneath its apparently non-threating silhouette is a high-power microwave weapon or what we could call a deadly beam against uncrewed aerial systems (UAVs).

What’s fascinating about Leonidas is that it can take out a swarm of drones in no time. By using directed energy, its powerful beam can be widened to target several approaching drones, or narrowed in order to get to a single drone in very tight spaces. In fact, this system is able to fire thousands of rounds per second, whether in precision fire or in swarm mode.

Its size is another advantage. Leonidas was built to be small enough and light enough to be mounted on ships, aircraft and other types of vehicles. It’s portable, but can also be used as a static weapon.

An innovation of the Californian company, the use of solid-state Gallium Nitride direct energy allows the system to operate at high voltage for rapid fire rates, without requiring constant cooling.

Leonidas’ power is completely software-controlled and it can be launched in minutes. You might be thinking that direct energy is probably dangerous for the environment or for the one who is operating the anti-drone system.

But it doesn’t actually produce harmful radiations and it’s precise enough to prevent any risks for the operator. As Leigh Madden, CEO of Epirus says, “The radiation produced is similar to that of cellular phone waves or your traditional countertop microwave unit.”

Leonidas was successfully demonstrated earlier this year including several participants, including the Department of Defense, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they already have their eyes on it.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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