US Army taps Lockheed Martin for anti-drone microwave weapons

Forget nets and drone-catching eagles — the US Army plans to blast unmanned aerial vehicles out of the sky using microwave weapons. The Department of the Army published a document revealing plans to purchase such a device from Lockheed Martin, also using the company for integration and support. Though the US Army isn't soliciting proposals from competing companies, it says it will accept them for a period of time.

A Notice of Intent to purchase the equipment was published by the Department of the Army, which says it will be seeking and negotiating with Lockheed Martin over its propriety intellectual property. Under the deal the US Army seeks, Lockheed Martin will be providing a high-powered microwave-based airborne counter unmanned aircraft system (CUAS).

The document explains that this system will "field UASs with payloads capable of negating adversary UAS in a timely and efficient manner." Officials are considering UAS payloads that include nets, entanglers, streamers, and explosives in addition to high-powered microwave systems.

Under the deal, Lockheed Martin will develop these high-powered microwave weapons for the US Army, as well as other anti-drone payloads. The idea here is to take enemy drones out of the sky using non-lethal weapons. High-powered microwave systems work by disrupting the communication and similar subsystems on these enemy drones.