Advancing Sec. Wormuth’s Army Priorities with High-Power Microwave Systems

Epirus News
JUL 11 2022

Epirus’ unique approach to high-power microwave safeguards personnel and accelerates modernization and readiness

U.S. Army Secretary Christine E. Wormuth has outlined top priorities and objectives for the Army to maintain overmatch and dominance at a time when Russia poses an acute threat and China is a strategic competitor. Epirus stands ready to support the Army with high-power microwave (HPM) technology solutions that will accelerate these priorities and objectives while safeguarding the warfighter from both imminent and emerging threats.

The joint force has rightly been sounding the alarm bells on the rapid rise in militarized drone usage for years – and Epirus commends top decisionmakers throughout the Pentagon for recognizing the imminence of the UAS threat. As Sec. Wormuth said in her opening remarks to the Atlantic Council in May 2022: “Events in Ukraine underscore yet again the growing drone threat. Drones and other unmanned systems pose new challenges for integrated air and missile defense, with both overseas and homeland security implications.”

Epirus Board Member & former U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at a Leonidas customer demonstration in May 2021.
Epirus Board Member & former U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at a Leonidas customer demonstration in May 2021.

Advancing Priorities – People, Modernization, Readiness:

The first of Secretary Wormuth’s priorities is people. Human safety shapes everything we do at Epirus. Our Leonidas HPM system provides counter-Unmanned Aerial System (c-UAS) and counter swarm capabilities that help save soldiers' lives.

Keeping people safe is an end goal of our technology, and we also build safety into our technology. Leonidas does not emit ionizing radiation and is, indeed, operator safe. The use of HPM as opposed to kinetic effects substantially mitigates the risk of blue force fratricide. Leonidas has also received rigorous HERO/HERP/HERF analysis from NTS and has been certified human safe at acceptable distances.

The second priority is modernization. On a high level, Epirus’s modern use of AI-driven power management improves power output and energy efficiency. Our software-defined systems also allow Leonidas to continuously enhance its performance. This ability to build ‘software magazines’ empowers the Army to keep pace with rapid evolutions in adversaries’ offensive capabilities while removing the need for costly and timely hardware upgrades.

Further, the Army is looking to rapidly upgrade its air and missile defense systems with new capabilities to stay ahead of the ever-changing threat landscape. By providing viable c-UAS and counter-swarm capabilities, Leonidas stands to modernize the Army’s response. Leonidas can also integrate with IFPC and SHORAD, functioning as a crucial component of layered defense. Leonidas can also function independently as a standalone system where and when desired.

The third priority is readiness. Epirus is continuously expanding the 'UAS library' with new 'software magazines'. Being software-defined, Leonidas is able to download these 'software magazines' in order to enhance its waveform propagation to achieve positive effects on new targets, and at longer range. As our adversaries increasingly develop and employ autonomous weapons systems, it is vital to have a technology that can neutralize AI-driven UAS. Here, it is crucial for c-UAS systems to take down drones that operate autonomously, without C2, as well as drones that operate with C2. Leonidas executes both.

Leonidas can also be deployed in multi-domain operations, as its modular architecture allows it to comprise a wide range of form factors. Larger form factors can be deployed on a base, vehicle, or vessel, while smaller form factors can be mounted onto a UAS or carried by soldiers on foot for agile operations. This will increase the readiness of the warfighter to execute a range of electronic warfare missions in any domain – be it land, sea, or air.

Not only is Leonidas exponentially more maneuverable and mobile than legacy systems, it can also be powered up in minutes (rather than hours) as a result of Epirus’ revolutionary approach to power management. With its radically reduced size, weight, and power output (SWaP), Leonidas is ready to be deployed in agile combat scenarios.

Furthering Objectives — Sustainable, Data Centric:

A sustainable and strategic path amid uncertainty, one that is both cost-effective and innovative, is the first of Sec. Wormuth’s objectives. It is important to point out that UAS warfare has a fundamental cost asymmetry, where million-dollar missiles are used to counter cheap, commercially available drones. Fortunately, Leonidas offers a dramatically more cost-effective approach to c-UAS than kinetic solutions. Rather than requiring the cost and storage of missiles and other forms of ‘metal in the air’, Leonidas’ digital waveforms only cost as much as the power used to generate them.

A data centric approach that enables forces to conduct operations in contested environments is the second objective. Leonidas takes a software-defined approach where new data constantly improves its performance. In other words, as the system sees a wider variety of drones, it gets smarter. And, importantly, this improved performance occurs without the system having to be removed from combat zones, in contrast with other solutions. Further, Leonidas’s ability to operate autonomously enables it to maintain functionality in contested environments where C2 is denied or degraded.

Accelerating Priorities and Objectives with HPM technology:

Epirus’s approach to directed energy aligns with the priorities and objectives of the U.S. Army.

Our Leonidas HPM system strikes a meaningful balance between meeting the challenges of today – including the ongoing threat of UAS – while simultaneously arming soldiers to defend against future threats, such as UAS swarms and other autonomous weapons systems. Epirus is ready to play a key role in building a modernized and mission-ready Army that will allow the U.S. to maintain strategic overmatch even as our near-peer adversaries continue to rapidly improve their capabilities.

The time is now to act swiftly and smartly against the ongoing threat that drones pose to our armed forces – and civilians – by fielding sophisticated, mission-ready c-UAS and counter-swarm solutions. Thanks to the innovation we’ve introduced at Epirus, these solutions are already available in the form of next-generation HPM systems that will save lives and help actualize Sec. Wormuth’s vision for a safe, sustainable, modernized Army.

And with Epirus’ commitment to push power past its limits, the possibilities are limitless.