The Epirus Extra, Vol. 2

Epirus News
SEP 27 2023

Welcome back to the Epirus Extra! The weather may be cooling down on the East Coast, but things at Epirus are heating up. We kicked off a busy September at the Air, Space & Cyber conference in National Harbor, Maryland – engaging with leaders throughout the U.S. Air Force (and many of you) about the new dawn of high-power microwave innovation we’ve ushered in.

Be sure to subscribe to our blog to receive future versions of this newsletter:


There’s been no shortage of UAS or directed energy headlines as of late. Since our inception as a company, we’ve been laser – or should we say ”microwave” – focused on the UAS threat. We recognized before many that UAS would become a defining technology in the future of warfare and that there was a worrisome gap in our military’s capabilities to defend against drones.  

Fast forward to 2023 – that future of warfare is here today.

Every day, we’re seeing drones feature prominently on the global stage. In the war in Ukraine, weaponized drones extend the reach of soldiers with such effect as dropping hand grenades into enemy bunkers with pinpoint accuracy or flying into targets and exploding on impact.

While the use of drones in warfare is not new, it represents a step change with the sheer mass of drone employment as a warfare tactic. These drones offer an asymmetric advantage – whereby low-cost weapons cause millions of dollars in damage and the loss of countless lives. Drones pose threats to every military base, ground formation, naval fleet and aircraft.

Drones also threaten our homeland – from critical infrastructure sites like power plants and airports to cities and stadiums and other venues of mass gathering.

Beyond the drone threat, here’s a roundup of key headlines over the last few weeks:

C4ISRNET reporter Colin Demarest published a deep dive article on the directed energy weapons system state-of-play: Directed energy weapons making jump from sci-fi to real world

    • Why it matters. Among a crowded field of other high-energy laser and high-power microwave solutions – which are described as having “less innocuous” effects – Leonidas has emerged as the most effective and efficient DE-HPM system for the counter-UAS-swarm mission.  

“What does a laser do to impart damage on the set target, utilizing directed energy? It just basically heats up and melts, right? Just a ton of energy. There’s no, really, wave interaction. With HPM, you’re actually trying to use the electro-magnetics in the air to cease the ability for anything that uses voltage and current to work, and you’re trying to do that as efficiently as possible, because it’s not easy.”  – Andy Lowery, Chief Operations Officer and General Manager, Defense

A cohort of defense technology CEOs – including Epirus’ Ken Bedingfield – signed an open letter to the Biden Administration and Congress warning of China’s advances and arguing that American “technological superiority and innovation are indispensable to deterrence.” Read more:

  • Why it matters. After decades of consolidation throughout the Defense industry, a flood of new innovative companies have entered the market, all with a shared mission of equipping our warfighters with cutting-edge technologies to counter emerging threats. Titled “America’s innovation ecosystem is critical to national security,” the open letter lays out proposals to the government’s defense technology procurement process and argues that the bustling innovation ecosystem must be better harnessed to ensure our military’s technological advantage over our pacing adversaries.

“The United States and our allies and partners must maintain and protect a technological advantage to ensure security, stability, and prosperity. In that effort, our country’s innovation ecosystem can and must play a critical part. We are eager to support this mission, in partnership with Congress and the Administration.”              

The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) hosted an Emerging Technologies Conference in D.C. that brought together DoD and industry leaders with a focus on “delivering new capabilities to the warfighter at speed and scale.” The event made headlines with Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks unveiling the Department’s Replicator initiative:

  • Why it matters. Replicator is an ambitious program that will aim to field thousands of “small, smart, cheap” autonomous systems within 24 months to rapidly counter China’s expanding weapons stockpile and deter aggression in the Indo-Pacific. The initiative is focused on fast-tracking innovation by accelerating software acquisition and the procurement of next-generation capabilities.

“Industry is ready. The culture is ready to shift,” said Sec. Hicks. Epirus has the capacity to rapidly scale – we’re ready.

Admiral Aquilino, Commander of the Indo-Pacific Command also spoke at the NIDA conference, saying he was encouraged by the innovation he’s seeing in the directed energy space, which can unlock asymmetric advantages for the Joint Force.

  • Why it matters. Adm. Acquilano told industry to “bring it.” And during her speech later in the conference, Chief Growth Officer Mara Motherway accepted the challenge head on – more on her presentation below.

"And for Admiral Aquilino and the INDOPACOM team: we have a capital asset, so let us know when you want us in theater and we will bring it.” Mara Motherway, Chief Growth Officer

The New York Times released the first installment in a series “that examines the challenges the Pentagon faces at this moment of rapid technological change and a rising threat from China.” Read more: A.I. Brings the Robot Wingman to Aerial Combat

  • Why it matters. AI is having a profound impact on every corner of our lives – and will come to redefine the battles of the future. Slowly but surely, DoD is beginning to embrace the potential of emerging technologies like AI that will prove critical to ensuring we keep pace with our adversaries. In our opinion, DoD must work to undergo a fundamental shift in attitude and increase their willingness to embrace cutting-edge technologies that violate the traditional narrative about what kinds of systems can and should be fielded. In today’s era of hyperconnected, digital everything, DoD must shift focus from outdated, “analog” modes of operation to intelligent, software-driven technologies that can keep pace with the constantly evolving threat landscape. Put simply, it’s time to “digitize” the Department of Defense.


It’s trade show season in Washington, D.C. - and we’re making our presence known around town (and elsewhere!):

  • Our Chief Growth Officer Mara Motherway presented at the National Defense Industrial Association’s (NDIA) Emerging Technologies Conference last month. Throughout her session, Mara underscored just how pervasive of a threat drones have become, how they are re-defining the future of warfare – and our revolutionary innovation to counter the threat.
    • “A 9/11-esque moment as the result of a weaponized drone swarm attack is something we all must grapple with. We are seeing this play out daily in Ukraine. We cannot wait for such an attack to be the catalyst for change. The UAS threat is real. So, too, is the technology to counter it. Epirus has the capacity to rapidly scale. The time for action is now – nothing could be more important.”  
    • Keynote speakers at the event included: Hon. Kathleen Kicks, Deputy Secretary of Defense, Hon. Heidi Shyu, Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering and Admiral John Aquilino, Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.
  • Aaron Barruga, Vice President of Federal, participated in a panel at IDGA’s Counter-UAS summit on driving technological innovation in the c-UAS space.
    • The so what of it all. Alongside thought leaders from government and industry, Aaron highlighted how and why our Leonidas system is poised to become the first operational high-power microwave system for the counter-UAS-swarm mission.
  • AUSA – October 9-11 in Washington, D.C. At the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual exposition – and the largest ground warfare conference in North America – we’ll share more about the progression of our partnership with the Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office. And the latest iteration of our Leonidas high-power microwave system will be on the show floor. We’ll have some exciting news to discuss on the floor that you won’t want to miss. Come see us at Booth #7205!