US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin has recently deployed its MORFIUS drone equipped with a High-Powered Microwave (HPM) to destroy ‘hostile drone swarms’.
Many countries are working toward enhancing their military drone technologies to fight the evolving challenges, including the threats posed by swarm drones.
Besides, there has been increasing use of ‘suicide drones’ or loitering munitions by terrorist outfits or non-state actors in conflict zones across the globe.
According to Lockheed Martin, its MORFIUS could be the perfect solution to fight the menace of swarm drones.
WATCH: MoRFIUS™ counter-unmanned aerial system successfully intercepts a target.
As emerging threats like drone swarms advance, our defensive technologies are built with the expeditionary force in mind to provide a critical layer of protection in the sky. pic.twitter.com/5FIW2c8H38
— Lockheed Martin (@LockheedMartin) February 2, 2021
The drone was presented by the Maryland-headquartered Lockheed Martin, as part of the AUSA’s Global Force Next conference, where the company said that it saw microwave weapons as the answer to deal with the threat of hostile drones.
“We’re focused on how we address the counter-UAS swarm threat. An airborne delivered HPM effect really has an opportunity to make a big difference against the counter-UAS swarm flight that we’re going to be facing in the future,” said Brain Dunn of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.
Weighing less than 30 pounds, the MORFIUS is a reusable drone that can fit inside a six-inch diameter launch tube and can be attached to ground stations, ground vehicles, or aircraft.
Laser weapon systems will defend U.S. forces against threats like small rockets, small unmanned aerial vehicles, small attack boats and lightweight ground vehicles.
Our technology is ready today. #GlobalForceNext
— Lockheed Martin (@LockheedMartin) March 18, 2021
According to reports, the MORFIUS drones will work as a part of a layered approach to counter-drone defense, wherein the drones will be launched at hostile UAVs or swarms to disable them using a gigawatt of microwave power.
Microwave weapons are part of Directed Energy Weapons (DEWS), which are ranged weapons that use highly focused energy, including laser, microwaves, and particle beams to damage targets.
As reported earlier by EurAsian Times last year China was believed to have used microwave weapons against Indian troops during the Ladakh standoff. India, which initially dismissed the media reports, later acknowledged in the Ministry of Defense’s year-end review that China had indeed used “unorthodox weapons”.
In December 2020, there were reports suggesting that US embassy staff and CIA officers in Cuba, China, Russia, and other countries were targets of high-power microwaves. Such high-power weapons are often used to disable electronic equipment.
As per the media reports, several countries have developed such weapons but China had made its microwave weapon Poly WB-1 public in 2014 during an air show. The US has also developed a similar weapon called Active Denial System, the first non-lethal, directed-energy, counter-personnel system with a range greater than other non-lethal weapons.