Military Embedded Systems

USAF officials release RFI for directed energy counter-UAS demonstrations


September 26, 2017

Mariana Iriarte

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

USAF officials release RFI for directed energy counter-UAS demonstrations

WASHINGTON. Officials at the Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation (SDPE) Office released a request for information (RFI) to industry as part of market research analysis in support of an upcoming experimentation demonstration using directed energy technology to counter unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

The Air Force is seeking information regarding the industry capability to provide a directed energy weapons system for targeting group 1 and group 2 unmanned aircraft systems during a counter-UAS operation. The SDPE office is planning the experimentation campaign for FY18.

This experimentation campaign comes at the direction of the Air Force Directed Energy Weapons Flight Plan, signed in May 2017 by the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

“We identified directed energy as a game-changing technology area in our Air Force strategy and pressed forward with developing a Flight Plan to define what we needed to do to get from the laboratory to operational capability,” says Dr. Greg Zacharias, Chief Scientist of the Air Force. “Experimentation and prototyping are critical tools to help make this happen.”

Directed energy weapons, which includes high energy lasers and high power microwaves, can provide the ability to precisely engage targets of interest with little to no collateral impacts and provide protection to Air Force assets that must operate in harm’s way.

“Forward base defense was one of the used cases for directed energy outlined in the Flight Plan,” says Dr. Michael Jirjis, experimentation campaign program manager. “We’re looking to assess capabilities and maturity of directed energy technologies available today and in the near-term.”

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