The U.S. Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) has awarded a $66.1 million contract to Epirus, a high-growth technology company, in support of the Indirect Fire Protection Capability-High-Power Microwave Program.
The program will support the development of Leonidas, Epirus’ breakthrough counter-electronics system, that can bring down enemy drone swarms with a single shot while leaving friendly aircraft untouched. Under the terms of the contract, Epirus will deliver several prototype systems of Leonidas in 2023 with options to acquire additional support services.
As part of the contract’s design, Epirus plans to work with the RCCTO to transition Leonidas into a future program of record after a successful demonstration of the prototypes.
“Time and time again, we’ve seen that current air defense systems are ill-equipped to tackle the threat of autonomous drone swarms. This contract with the RCCTO brings the new counter-swarm capability to the UAS fight with our cost-effective, modular, and upgradable Leonidas systems,” said Ken Bedingfield, Chief Executive Officer, Epirus.
“As the threat environment continues to evolve, so, too, will our capabilities, ensuring the U.S. Army is equipped with effective countermeasures to near-term and over-the-horizon electronic threats for decades to come.”
Epirus’ Leonidas has already demonstrated its lethality against a broad range of UAS and electronic systems and achieved swarm defeat at multiple U.S. Government-sponsored test events, outperforming six down-selected systems. The company introduced the most recent iteration of Leonidas in April 2022.
Leonidas benefits from the company’s innovative, software-defined approach to high-power microwave weapons. This approach enables upgradable lethality through simple software-based updates to deployed systems that advance the U.S. Army’s modernization efforts to meet current and future challenges. Leonidas also features an open system architecture to facilitate integration with the Joint Force’s existing and future command-and-control networks.
Epirus privately funded the research, development, and validation of its systems – bringing its fourth-generation HPM system to life in an unprecedented timeframe. The latest contract award is a significant step towards bridging the long-established gap between industry innovation and the conventional norms of defense technology procurement, the company says. The technology and unique rapid prototyping abilities allow the company to move at the speed of commercial technology development to equip our warfighters with cutting-edge weapons systems today to defend against the threats of tomorrow.