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U.S. Army ordered directed energy weapons: What they are and how much they cost

U.S. Army ordered directed energy weapons: What they are and how much they cost The U.S. Army has ordered directed energy weapons (Photo:

The U.S. Army has ordered a prototype of directed energy weapons from the defense company Raytheon, according to Defence News and the Raytheon press service.

Raytheon will design, build, and test two powerful microwave antenna systems that will use directed energy to target airborne threats.

The systems were ordered by the U.S. Army and Navy as part of the Directed Energy Front-line Electromagnetic Neutralization and Defeat (DEFEND) program.

These systems will "ignite" enemy electronic components through energetic bursts. According to the company, the prototypes will be robust and transportable for use on the frontline against "air threats."

"The new iterations of Raytheon's high-power microwave systems are cost-effective and reliable solutions that operate at the speed of light – enabling our warfighters to defend against faster and more maneuverable threats," said Colin Whelan, president of Advanced Technology at Raytheon.

The three-year contract is estimated at $31.3 million. It is expected that the prototypes will be delivered in the 2024 and 2026 fiscal years.

Raytheon had previously developed CHIMERA systems, high-power microwave counter-electronic systems for airbase protection with an increased radius of action. The directed energy weapon prototype is said to be based on this development.

Recall that on December 22, U.S. President Joe Biden signed a record Pentagon budget, allocating $886 billion for defense. The budget also includes $300 million for Ukraine.

It was also previously reported that the U.S. Army received the first Precision Strike Missile (PrSM). In the future, these missiles will replace ATACMS missiles, which Ukraine successfully uses.