From the “Does the military know about this?” file comes word that a private company has developed a weapon small enough to fit into a backpack that uses microwaves to disable fleets of drones flying nearby. Shouldn’t the U.S. Navy have these installed on ships encountering UFOs that might be drones? Can they take down a Tic Tac? It may be that these combat encounters of the third kind are being thwarted by clashing department encounters of the U.S. government kind.
“Our systems allow us the capability to widen or narrow the beam and put a null in any direction to disable enemy targets and nothing else.”
By “enemy targets,” Epirus CEO Leigh Madden means drones. Which are becoming a serious threat to the military and an increasing concern to both corporations and private citizens. Epirus, a Los Angeles startup, says it has the solution in Leonidas – a “counter-electronics system” that “uses solid-state, software-defined high-power microwave to disable electronic targets” with “digital beamforming” that fires “1000s of rounds per second in precision fire or swarm modes.”
Those up on their Greek history know that Leonidas of Epirus was a tutor of young Alexander when he was not yet great. However, this Epirus is named for the mythological magical bow that makes its own light-based arrows and was wielded by Hercules. According to IEEE Spectrum, Leonidas of the corporate Epirus is a trailer-sized anti-drone weapon, while the backpack version is a prototype yet unnamed. It was the bigger version that was demonstrated earlier this year taking out a swarm of 66 drone, at times knocking out multiple drones at a time. While the unnamed client was impressed, the FCC was not.
“You are advised that the Commission is unable to grant your application for the facilities requested. The FCC is not authorized to approve systems that cause interference or jamming. These systems may only be approved by NTIA for military or other law enforcement type systems.”
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is the regulator that oversees military and federal spectrum experiments and allocations. Without their approval, Epirus can’t test the system at its California headquarters. Without FCC approval, it can’t sell in to non-military customers for defense of their facilities – like buildings, manufacturing plants, secret testing grounds or even large sports and entertainment venues. However, at this point, the military sales seem to be more urgent, with the recent acknowledgements by the government that US Navy ships encountered UAPs off the coast of California in 2019 that it admits are unidentified. Many military experts think they’re hostile high-tech drones suitable for being disabled by a weapon like Epirus. People in Colorado may think the same thing – remember the mysterious drone formations flying over large areas of that state last year just before the coronavirus pandemic … with no explanation nor retaliation by the federal or state governments?
The FCC has denied the requests of anti-drone companies, so it’s not just a vendetta against Epirus. In fact, it entered a deal with Northrup, a major defense contractor, before this all happened. Yet there’s blockage from the FCC and no usage of weapons of this type by the US military against what might well be adversarial drones. Why?
Finding the answers may be a Herculean task. If only we had a bow that shot an unlimited supply of flaming arrows.