WASHINGTON — Two companies developing drone-frying technologies are combining their products to create what they describe as a counter-unmanned aerial system capable of tracking and downing multiple targets.

Epirus, a U.S. company specializing in directed energy, and DroneShield, an Australian firm involved with electronic warfare, on June 15 announced the successful marriage of the former’s Leonidas high-power microwave kit and the latter’s sensing-and-jamming DroneSentry.

Together, they provide “significantly expanded options” for the U.S. Department of Defense and other customers, DroneShield CEO Oleg Vornik said in a statement. “Additionally, there are synergies on the business development front, which DroneShield and Epirus are already working on.”

Epirus in November invested roughly $2.5 million into DroneShield.

Military adoption and deployment of drones has ballooned, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine again pushing their use into the public eye. The proliferation of overhead threats is motivating the Pentagon to rethink its battlefield defenses. High-power microwave systems use bursts of energy to disrupt or destroy distant electronics.

Epirus this year won a $66 million Army prototyping contract handled by the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, which serves as a bridge between the science-and-technology community and program executive offices. With the Leonidas equipment, the company is focusing on the service’s indirect fire protection capability, meant to negate rockets, artillery, mortars, missiles and more.

A Leonidas array was previously joined with a Stryker combat vehicle, in partnership with General Dynamics Land Systems, and used to roast both individual drones and collective swarms. The “Stryker Leonidas,” developed in less than one year, was on display at the 2022 Association of the U.S. Army convention.

Colin Demarest was a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covered military networks, cyber and IT. Colin had previously covered the Department of Energy and its National Nuclear Security Administration — namely Cold War cleanup and nuclear weapons development — for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award-winning photographer.

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