HomeNewsArticle Display

AFRL’s drone killer, THOR will welcome new drone “hammer”

An artist’s rendering of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s THOR, a drone killer, capable of downing many adversarial drones in fractions of a second. A follow-on system named Mjolnir, the hammer belonging to the mythical Norse god Thor will soon be under development at AFRL.

An artist’s rendering of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s THOR, a drone killer, capable of downing many adversarial drones in fractions of a second. A follow-on system named Mjolnir, the hammer belonging to the mythical Norse god Thor will soon be under development at AFRL. (Courtesy illustration)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) --

The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Directed Energy Directorate is seeking partners to build a new counter electronics weapon system, to defend against the ever increasing threat of adversarial drone activity.

Building upon the success of the Tactical High-Power Operational Responder technology demonstrator, AFRL is building an advanced high-power microwave weapon system to bring their newest technology to bear against the growing threat from unmanned aircraft.

“The new prototype will be called Mjolnir, after the mythical Norse god, Thor’s hammer,” said Amber Anderson, THOR program manager. “Because THOR was so successful, we wanted to keep the new system’s name in the THOR family.”

The AFRL team, working from Kirtland Air Force Base, are experts in High-Power Electromagnetics technology. The THOR demonstrator used bursts of intense radio waves to disable small unmanned aircraft systems instantly.

“After a successful 2-year testing campaign, the AFRL team has learned a lot about the benefits of the technology and how it can be improved,” Anderson said.

The Mjolnir prototype will use the same technology, but will add important advances in capability, reliability and manufacturing readiness.

“We are releasing an opportunity for businesses in the directed energy field, to help us build the follow-on system,” said Adrian Lucero, THOR deputy program manager. “AFRL’s goal is to create a blueprint for our partners so these systems can be economically produced in large quantities, and to grow a fledgling industry that will become critically important as the U.S. strives to maintain our electromagnetic spectrum superiority.”

AFRL is working closely with cross-service partners in the Joint Counter sUAS Office and the Army’s Rapid Capability and Critical Technologies Office.

“As the danger from drone swarms evolves, all services are working closely to ensure emerging technologies like Mjolnir, will be ready to support the needs of warfighters already engaged against these threats,” Lucero said. “The program will begin this fall with a delivery of the prototype weapon in 2023.”

A request for proposal from companies interested in working with AFRL to develop this prototype will be posted on SAM.gov, an official site for companies seeking federal contract opportunities.

Engage

Twitter
Capt. Joseph Scerra, an F-15C Eagle pilot, is the first 159th FW pilot to complete a sortie w/ the F-35A. The miles… https://t.co/HCi9TnGn5S
Twitter
The 92nd Medical Group at @TeamFairchild, Washington, honed their skills during a week-long readiness exercise. Dir… https://t.co/RDEqLsy2hJ
Twitter
The Air Force Sustainment Center Contracting Directorate @RobinsAFB_GA hosted the First Look Program workshop. The… https://t.co/uhYMqYR5d5
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones launched her official Twitter account last week! Follow @UnderSecAF
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: #OTD we celebrate the official end of #WWII and the anniversary of the formal signing of the Instrument of Surrender abo…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Actions meeting words: In his confirmation hearing, SecAF Kendall said: “Our military is people first and foremost.” Y…
Twitter
Lt. Gen. Robert Miller, U.S. Air Force Surgeon General, visited the Center for Sustainment of Trauma & Readiness Sk… https://t.co/Pv571RpgaW
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF's message to #Airmen on their extraordinary efforts to evacuate U.S. citizens & others from #Afghanistan: "You off…
Twitter
The @39thAirBaseWing at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, reaches a milestone with its Agile Combat Employment program.… https://t.co/u4ucRL8duB
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: “We achieve deterrence by having a strong enough force that the potential enemy is afraid of us. That’s my job; to give…
Twitter
Airmen from Moody AFB, Georgia, conducted training near @SLDelta45 to prepare for operations supporting #SpaceX and… https://t.co/iBAAGOnsVn
Twitter
Reserve #Airmen from the @403rdWing at Kessler Air Force Base, Miss., joined over 250 Air Force Reservists and 4,0… https://t.co/yGq4xIPXbD
Twitter
A B-52 Stratofortress is rinsed off after a mission at Andersen AFB, Guam. Known as bird baths, this quick rinse… https://t.co/Q0N83eWt0V
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr was ceremoniously conferred a pin from the French Air and Space Force's Fighter Squadron 2/4 Lafayet… https://t.co/CLqypWZMPt
Twitter
#ICYMI - @USAF_ACC declared initial operational capability for the tactical air control party mobile communications… https://t.co/p09eQw9QXh
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: To date, @RamsteinAirBase has facilitated 42+ aircraft departures carrying more than 10,000 evacuees en-route to the USA a…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: With allies and partners, @INDOPACOM is committed to enhancing the stability in the Asia-Pacific region, by building secu…
Twitter
Aircraft and maintainers from across the #AirForce traveled to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, to particip… https://t.co/w2xSJtXNr1
Twitter
RT @HollomanAFB: #Airmen continue to establish support facilities, while also creating additional infrastructure, for the arrival of Afghan…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,371,940
Follow Us