Air Force’s Mjölnir? Service Testing THOR Anti-Drone System

U.S. airmen control an Air Force drone from a command trailer at Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan, March 9, 2016. Reuters/Josh Smith

U.S. airmen control an Air Force drone from a command trailer at Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan, March 9, 2016. (Reuters/Josh Smith)

May 7, 2019 | Source: Business Insider, Oriana Pawlyk, 26 April 2019

Movie fans are anticipating the new "Avengers: Endgame" film -- even the U.S. Air Force, which recently named its new experimental counter-drone program after the Avengers superhero Thor.

The Tactical High-power microwave Operational Responder, or THOR, is in developmental testing to take out smaller drones at the speed of light, according to officials with the U.S. Air Force Research Lab.

"This is designed for base defense," said 2nd Lt. James Wymer, a research physicist for the program with the Air Force Research Lab's Technology Directorate. Military.com spoke with Wymer and Steve Langdon, chief of the high-powered microwave technologies branch of the AFRL, during the Defense Department Lab Day at the Pentagon on Thursday.

"What it does is that it sends out that high-power, short pulse of microwaves that disable the electronics on the system itself," Wymer said of the non-kinetic counter-drone weapon, which looks like a standard Conex box with a satellite dish strapped to it.

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