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Epirus unveils Leonidas Pod for shooting down drones with microwave rays

Epirus Leonidas Pod
Photo: Leonidas

US defense technology company Epirus has unveiled the Leonidas Pod, a solid-state, multiple shot high-power microwave (HPM) system that employs microwave rays to counter unmanned aerial systems.

The pod is the latest addition to the company’s suite of electronic warfare (EW) solutions that utilize software-defined HPM technology.

According to the company, Leonidas ground-based systems allow for defensive 360-degree forward operating base protection from incoming threats. The newly introduced Leonidas Pod enables a range of mount options to maximize portability, and can advance directly to the threat environment. With Leonidas deployed alongside a drone-mounted Leonidas Pod, the systems work in unison to achieve greater power and range and create a layered defense forcefield.

Epirus says its Leonidas systems are not constrained by magazine depth nor capacity and offer a “more cost-effective solution to countering electronic threats as compared to kinetic approaches.”

Both Leonidas and Leonidas Pod are interoperable by design and their scalability allows for compatibility with partner systems in support of a fully integrated counter-electronics kill chain.

As explained, Leonidas Pod is able to power up and down in minutes, not hours, to respond to evolving threat environments. When drone-mounted, Leonidas Pod’s standby mode allows operators the flexibility to only activate the system when needed and further extend battery life.

“Epirus’ revolutionary approach to power management has ushered in breakthrough electronic warfare systems to fill immediate capability gaps. With the continued advancement of Leonidas and now with the rapid commercialization of Leonidas Pod, Epirus continues to prove that lasting innovation does not have to take decades,” said Andy Lowery, chief product officer, Epirus.

Epirus unveiled the Leonidas Pod after introducing the ground-based Leonidas system in 2020. The company says it completed three successful field demonstrations with the system in 2021, achieving positive effects on both rotary and fixed-wing drones across a number of real-time scenarios. At its most recent demonstration, Leonidas successfully disabled an outboard ship motor, cementing the system’s broader counter-electronics capabilities and accelerated vessel-stop effects for enhanced maritime support.

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of a number of recent wins for Epirus. In December 2021, the company was awarded a multi-million-dollar contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) to develop software that enables more accurate prediction of electromagnetic waveform behaviors. The next month, in January 2022, Epirus was one of four companies selected to the Army Application’s Laboratory Solider Power Cohort to develop intelligent power management solutions for the US Army.