USAF Directed-Energy Weapon “THOR” Can Down Swarms of Drones Simultaneously

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July 2, 2019 | Originally published by Date Line: July 2 on

The U.S. Air Force recently unveiled its newest anti-drone weapon called THOR, which is short for Tactical High Power Microwave Operational Responder. The system was developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

THOR only took 18 months to develop for around $15 million — a relatively low cost for a high-tech military application. It can be stored and transported in a shipping container and can be deployed in just a couple of hours. It is meant to be used for base defense.

The system uses quick bursts of high-powered microwaves to disrupt drone systems such as those used to autopilot or assist the controller. Since the microwave beam projects out much the way a flashlight beam does, THOR can be used to take out a swarm of drones all at once.