The Epirus Extra, Vol. 1

Epirus News
AUG 14 2023

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Epirus Extra, a monthly newsletter that gives you updates from [Epir] us and everything you need to know about the state-of-play in the defense technology space.

Looking  to learn more about cutting-edge defense systems and the rise of  Venture Capital spending in dual-use technology startups? Curious what  efforts are being undertaken to reform the U.S government’s funding and  acquisition processes to put next-generation technology capabilities in  the hands of our warfighters?

You’ve come to the right place.

Read on to learn more — and be sure to follow us here to receive future versions of this newsletter.


As  the war in Ukraine continues, our Nation’s preparedness to counter  emerging threats has garnered a significant amount of media attention.  But it shouldn’t require global conflict to put military technology  readiness in the mainstream.

At  Epirus, we’ve been focused on this since our founding in 2018 — and  won’t relent in our commitment to ensuring the most innovative, safe and  effective technologies are provided to America’s warfighters as quickly  as possible.

Speed is security — and we’re delivering defense solutions at commercial pace.

Here’s a roundup of key headlines over the last few weeks:

  • Epirus came in as #29 on the Silicon Valley Defense Group’s inaugural 2023 National Security 100 list highlighting the top venture–backed dual-use tech startups.
  • Why it matters. We’re honored to have made the list and serve as a prime example of the venture capital uptick in dual-use technology companies.
  • According to PitchBook data, VC spending in the defense technology space has doubled from $16 billion in 2019 to $33 billion in 2022. Recent Congressional appropriations directives are also showing an increased recognition of the importance of dual-use technology for military applications in today’s increasingly hostile global security landscape.
  • Eric Shmidt’s Wall Street Journal Op-Ed “The Future of War Has Come In Ukraine: Drone Swarms” details Schmidt’s takeaways from his visit to Ukraine and highlights the use of drone swarms by both the Russians and Ukrainians — along with the shortfalls of the respective sides’ counter-UAS measures, which consist of primarily kinetic solutions and outdated jamming countermeasures.
  • Why it matters. Drone swarms continue to feature prominently in the war in Ukraine and elsewhere. Swarming drones are no longer the “future” of warfare — the threat is here today. That’s why we at Epirus set out on a mission to create the most effective and efficient counter-swarm solution with our Leonidas HPM system. And we’re not stopping there — we’re partnering with U.S. government customers to scale and mature our technology to counter more advanced threats. Fact of the matter is — the drone swarm threat is here to stay. And with Leonidas, so, too, is the technology to counter it.

Recognition  of the UAS threat is coming straight from the top: “[UAS] are likely to  feature prominently in the conflicts of the future, and they already  threaten civilian aircraft. And that’s why my Department has made it a  priority to address the drone threat” — U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

  • Australia-based DroneShield recently announced it was awarded a $33 million multi-year U.S. government contract for equipment and services.
  • Why it matters. After Epirus invested in DroneShield in late 2022, we successfully integrated Leonidas with their multi-function DroneSentry sensing-and-jamming platform, marking another integration of Leonidas’ capabilities with a Command & Control platform. Read more about our partnership here:

ICYMI: Epirus x Anduril = the future of defense technology. Leonidas also integrated with Anduril’s Lattice Command & Control platform. The successful integration of our respective technologies will support the United States Marine Corps’ Air Defense modernization priorities — and is another example of Leonidas’ unprecedented interoperability and scalability. Read more in Defense One:

  • The White House released its National Cybersecurity Strategy Implementation Plan, which calls for “two fundamental shifts in how the United States allocates roles, responsibilities and resources in cyberspace.” Read the fact sheet here:
  • Why it matters. Cybersecurity and protecting our IP is something we put a great deal of attention on at Epirus. Kim Porter, our Vice President of Information Systems and Infrastructure, recently participated in a roundtable with DoD Chief Information Officer John Sherman and her industry counterparts to discuss ongoing cybersecurity efforts for the defense industry.
  • Netflix released the latest edition of its UNKOWN documentary series: Killer Robots. The documentary explores how AI-powered robots are changing the face of warfare and analyzes the moral dilemma posed by allowing computer software to make life or death decisions. Overall, the film strikes a more negative tone and frames AI for military applications as more harmful than helpful.
  • Why it matters. AI will re-shape the world as we know it and using AI on tomorrow’s battlefields — in the minds of the film’s directors, at least — presents dangerous potentials. While Epirus isn’t immune to questions regarding the ethicality of AI and machine learning technologies, we’re proud to develop defensive systems to counter asymmetric threats. The end goal of our technology is to neutralize threats with AI and ML — not create new ones.


What’s  happening in Washington as it relates to defense technology  procurement? Quite a lot — here’s some highlights of recent action on  the Hill and throughout the Beltway ecosystem:

  • The latest on NDAA. The House and Senate recently passed the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a narrow vote, largely across party lines.
  • Of note, Epirus strongly supports an amendment introduced by Rep. Wittman of Virginia that “requires the Navy to assess its current system to counter unmanned aerial and surface systems for surface ships and submarines.”
  • We’re also pleased to see language in the House passed bill that mandates “operational assessment of installation defense using directed energy capabilities against unmanned aircraft systems and unmanned aircraft systems swarms.”
  • The growing UAS threat was a key topic at Gen Charles Q. Brown’s confirmation hearing to be the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
  • When pressed about DoD’s coordination with other federal agencies — namely the FAA, FCC and NTIA — on the development of regulations to ensure the Department is able not only to test counter-UAS systems but deploy them in the continental U.S., Gen. Brown asserted that “if confirmed, [he] will ensure coordination with our interagency partners to continue development, testing, and fielding of existing and future counter-small-UAS technologies.”
  • Regarding existing barriers to testing directed energy systems CONUS and identifying recommended changes to the regulatory process, Gen. Brown writes that “the Joint Staff has no specific recommendations to existing laws or procedures at this time. As the Joint Staff gains more fidelity on the employment of these [HPM] weapons, it will consider the impact to policies such as the Procedures for Management of Illumination of Objects in Space . . . and the Directed Energy Engineering and Directed Energy Weapon Review and Approval Process (DEW RAP).”
  • A bipartisan, bi-cameral group of Members introduced new legislation that aims to enhance the federal government’s capacity to protect the homeland from the UAS threat. The Safeguarding the Homeland from the Threats Posed by Unmanned Aircraft Systems Act of 2023 is sponsored by Mike Gallagher, Chrissy Houlahan, Mike Johnson and Troy Carter. The bipartisan legislation also has a companion bill in the Senate, which was introduced by Senators Peters, Johnson, Sinema and Hoeven. Read on:
  • The so what of it all. With the House and Senate Appropriations Committees completing their markups, counter-UAS is a clear priority and additional funding has been allocated by both chambers. The UAS threat isn’t just threatening our troops overseas. Hostile UAS pose serious dangers at the U.S. border, to critical infrastructure, venues of mass gathering and more. Reforming the regulatory process to fast-track domestic deployment of directed energy systems is critical to protecting civilians and other installations in the homeland. Nothing could be more important — and we commend this group of Members for their commitment to c-UAS issues.


“By  the time I was a colonel, a brigadier general, it was clear we let  things atrophy to a large degree and Russia and China in many areas had  surpassed us, because they were focused on it. We’re just too slow. It  shouldn’t take us five years, six years to turn the ship around.” —  Congressman Don Bacon of Nebraska at a July 18 Hudson Institute event  regarding the global race for electromagnetic spectrum supremacy.

“Against  our most advanced adversaries, the Joint Force would likely face  challenges protecting itself from electromagnetic attack.” —  Air Force Chief of Staff and President Biden’s nominee for the next  Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at his confirmation hearing.

“Over  my career in national security and defense new product development, one  drumbeat has been constant: the process is too slow.” — Air  Force Secretary Frank Kendall in a recent Op-Ed arguing that Congress  much reform its budgetary processes and invest more in innovative  technology solutions. Read the full piece:

“Countering  the drone threat in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility is  essential to keeping our personnel, aircraft, and equipment safe.” — Lt. Col. Steven Norris, U.S. Air Forces Central’s counter-drone chief said in a recent statement.


  • The Aspen Institute held its 14th annual Security Forum last month. The forum is widely regarded as the premier national security and foreign policy conference in the United States, convening government officials and industry thought leaders from across the globe. Mark Esper, former U.S. Secretary of Defense and Epirus Board member, took part in a panel titled: “New Technologies and Old Treaties: Are International Limites on Weapons Still Possible.”
  • Watch the full panel here:
Ken Bedingfield, Chief Executive Officer, Epirus (left) and Torrance Mayor George Chen (right) during a recent visit to our headquarters in Torrance, California.

On Tuesday, July 18, Torrance, California, Mayor George Chen and Torrance Economic Development Manager Fran Fulton met with members of our Executive Leadership Team at HQ to learn more about our latest technology milestones and product development roadmap. Mayor Chen had a storied career at Raytheon and with his knowledge of AESA and phased array technologies — he’s a staunch support of our mission and capabilities.

  • On August 29, our Chief Growth Officer Mara Motherway will present at the National Defense Industrial Association’s Emerging Technologies for Defense Conference in Arlington, Virginia alongside DoD and industry representatives.
  • The so what of it all. DoD CTO Heidi Shyu. who is also speaking at the event, has highlighted directed energy as one of her office’s key focus areas. With the increased focus DoD has placed on directed energy — and with counter-UAS as one of the three central themes of the event — Mara’s presentation will dive into Epirus’ work with the U.S. Army and lay out our path towards a program of record for our Leonidas counter-swarm capability.

Epirus  will showcase our best-in-class booth, which was named a “Rising Star” at AUSA 2022, at two upcoming industry trade shows:

  • Air Space Cyber — September 11–13 in National Harbor, Maryland. At the Air and Space Force Association’s cornerstone fall trade show, we’ll engage with U.S. Air Force stakeholders and showcase our Leonidas suite of HPM systems for next-generation air base defense capabilities.
  • 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. We’ll also share news of the latest strides in our partnership with General Dynamics Land Systems to enhance Leonidas Stryker, a first-of-its-kind, mobile counter-electronics system for enhanced SHORAD.