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Ideal Directed-Energy System To Defeat Small Unmanned Aircraft System Swarms

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Technical Report

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Air Command and Staff College, Air University Maxwell AFB United States

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The proliferation of small unmanned aircraft systems sUAS, miniaturization of sensor technology, and advancement of UAS swarm logic foretell that swarms of sUAS will threaten US airbases by the 2025 timeframe. Currently fielded base defense systems are not well suited to combat this emerging threat. Current directed energy DE developmental systems indicate this class of weapons is the best solution. A review of several continuous wave laser, pulsed high-powered microwave, and electronic warfarejamming systems indicate the following attributes as ideal for a future directed energy weapon DEW system to defeat swarms of sUAS scalable, layered, fused, modular, and open. In order to ensure DEW systems become a normalized component of the USAF base defense operations, DEW effects should be incorporated into the Joint Munitions Effectiveness Manual, DEW collateral damage considerations should be explored and standing guidance developed, and DEW system employmentcommand and control concepts of operations should be developed, tested, and evaluated. These recommendations should be acted upon immediately as DEW systems are already being employed to counter individual sUAS and the sUAS swarm threat will soon arrive.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Directed Energy Weapons

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