USAF looking to improve directed-energy counter-UAS weapon kill chain

By Sara Sirota / October 19, 2020 at 3:36 PM

The Air Force is seeking to further develop an unidentified directed-energy weapon it's buying for base defense against unmanned aerial systems, according to a new request for information.

The Oct. 16 notice from the Air Force's architecture and integration directorate states the service specifically needs help enhancing the high-power microwave or high-energy laser's ability to execute a "kill chain" -- or detect, track, identify, defeat and exploit a target. The Air Force hopes to iteratively improve the weapon over a 12-month period.

The RFI lists a dozen areas of interest that white papers may respond to, including ways to increase power to defeat a UAS, sensor performance to track targets and automation to reduce operator workload.

The service is also interested in improving the weapon's ability to integrate with command-and-control systems, like the Army's Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control (FAAD C2) system or the Air Force's Multi-Environmental Domain Unmanned Systems Application (MEDUSA).

White papers are due Nov. 17.