Shown is an artist rendering of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Tactical High-power Operational Responder, or THOR. THOR is a portable counter-UAS system, capable of destroying swarms of drones at speed-of-light, at long range, in its base defense mission. (Air Force Research Laboratory courtesy graphic)
KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) —
The Air Force Research Laboratory has created a new video animation that realistically depicts a Tactical High-power Operational Responder, or THOR, destroying swarms of enemy drones in a base defense scenario.
In an effort to counter the increasing threat posed by enemy drones and other airborne threats, the Air Force developed the THOR.
THOR is a prototype Directed Energy weapon used to disable the electronics in drones, and was specifically engineered to counter multiple targets – such as a drone swarm – with rapid results.
High energy lasers kill one target at a time, and high powered microwaves can kill groups or swarms, which is one reason THOR offers a unique capability.
“The system output is powerful radio wave bursts, which offer a greater engagement range than bullets or nets, and its effects are silent and instantaneous,” said Amber Anderson, THOR program manager .
Anderson went on to explain THOR is housed in a 20-foot shipping unit, can be transported in a military cargo plane and assembled by just two people.
“Drones represent an emerging threat to U.S. military bases, personnel and infrastructure, and it is THOR’s mission to keep them safe, at close range and from a distance,” Anderson said.