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In the News

Nov. 10, 2021

Pentagon plans two-part C-sUAS demo for April 2022

The Army-led Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office is planning to hold a two-part demonstration next spring centered on a directed-energy, ground-based aerial denial system and another defensive capability to detect, track, identify and defeat sUAS threats from a given location. Details for the upcoming third demonstration, slated for April 2022 at Yuma Proving Ground, AZ, were shared with industry in two separate notices posted Tuesday, as well as an Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office press release.

Nov. 4, 2021

AFRL partners with UNM for new Directed Energy Center

The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Directed Energy Directorate is partnering with The University of New Mexico (UNM) to establish a center for directed energy studies, a congressionally-funded endeavor. The Directed Energy Center will be based at UNM and jointly managed by UNM’s School of Engineering and UNM’s Center for High Technology Materials (CHTM). AFRL is recognized as the nation’s center of excellence for the development of directed energy technologies and will oversee the founding of the center as well as the research taking place at UNM.

Oct. 20, 2021

Marine Bangs Drum for Investing in Nonlethal Weapons

Enhancing “lethality” has become a buzzword at the Pentagon and a mantra among force modernizers as the U.S. military gears up for great power competition. But the Defense Department needs to invest more in nonlethal capabilities to expand the range of options for commanders and troops when killing people isn’t the best course of action, the director of the Joint Intermediate Force Capabilities Office said Oct. 20.

Oct. 2, 2021

North Korea Is Weaponizing the Naval ‘Gray Zone’ Against the South

After months of relative restraint, the Korean Peninsula is experiencing a new arms race. Since the announcement of the Medium-term Defense Program in 2020, South Korea commissioned a 3,800-ton Dosan Ahn Changho-class submarine and test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) on September 15. The U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) missile guideline was terminated in June, freeing South Korea to develop long-range missiles, and the ROK Navy (ROKN) is expected to commission a light aircraft carrier within years. North Korea also test-fired its new cruise missile that flew approximately 1,500 km and recently resumed its ballistic missile testing after a six-month break. While South Korea has been preparing for the future wartime operational control (OPCON) transfer from the United States by acquiring cutting-edge platforms and enhancing its capabilities for autonomous military operations, there has been a lack of debate on a comprehensive strategy to counter North Korean conventional and asymmetrical military threats.

Sept. 23, 2021

Joint Intermediate Force Capabilities

Active Denial Technology (ADT) is a non-lethal, counterpersonnel, directed energy (DE) Intermediate Force Capability (IFC) that creates a heating sensation, quickly repelling potential adversaries. ADT provides the Joint Force with an option to stop, deter, and turn back suspicious individuals with minimal risk of injury or damage to critical infrastructure.

Sept. 22, 2021

Naval Postgraduate School Examines Hybrid Force 2045

The U.S. Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) is conducting its annual Warfare Innovation Continuum (WIC) scenario this week on a critical naval priority: the future hybrid force. Led by the NPS Naval Warfare Studies Institute (NWSI), WIC 2021 is addressing a “design challenge” of “How might emerging technologies, new operational concepts and alternative fleet designs contribute to a more effective naval force across the spectrum from competition to conflict, and how do the alternative fleet designs enhance the effectiveness and resilience of joint, combined and coalition forces across all domains?”

Sept. 16, 2021

Report on Navy Laser, Railgun and Gun-Launched Guided Projectiles

The following is the Sept. 15, 2021, Congressional Research Service report, Navy Lasers, Railgun, and Gun-Launched Guided Projectile: Background and Issues for Congress. Full report available at the link below.

Sept. 16, 2021

Panel: U.S. Must Adapt to Allies Stance Toward China in Europe, Asia

Washington needs to recognize and adapt to Indo-Pacific and European nations’ different security and economic interests in confronting Beijing, a panel of regional scholars said. The United States “should never take any ally or partner for granted,” Andrew Oros, professor of political science at Washington College, said on Thursday. “There are real coordination problems” with U.S. Indo-Pacific allies Japan, South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines.

Sept. 7, 2021

Navy Arming Surface Ships with Drone Repellent System

The Drone Restricted Access Using Known Electromagnetic Warfare system, or DRAKE, built by Northrop Grumman and originally used on Humvees during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is now used across the Navy’s surface fleet.

Aug. 19, 2021

110th Security Forces Squadron conducts baton training

Airmen of the 110th Security Forces Squadron conducted Armament Systems and Procedures (ASP) baton training on August 7, 2021. The training culminated in the “Red Man” exercise, which consists of using less than lethal tactics to gain compliance of a subject who is demonstrating the intent to cause harm.

Aug. 18, 2021

NSWC IHD Wargaming Event Ushers In a New Phase of Warfighting

Marine Col. Wendell Leimbach, Joint Intermediate Force Capabilities Office director, stressed innovation in his brief on intermediate force capabilities (IFC): strategic risk mitigation investments that provide warfighters tools to seize initiative while competing below the level of armed conflict. Examples of IFCs are dazzling lasers and acoustic hailing devices, active denial systems, and counter unmanned aerial systems. Airports already employ a minor version of IFC technology in airport terminal safety screenings. Teams were asked to incorporate IFCs into their final concepts.

Aug. 11, 2021

Not shocking: Most of the Army’s tasers don’t work

The majority of the Army’s tasers are past their intended service life and are not operational, largely due to depleted batteries, according to a report the service submitted to a Senate panel last year.

July 29, 2021

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

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.

July 22, 2021

Learning in the grey zone: how democracies can meet the authoritarian challenge

Innovation by authoritarian nations in the ‘grey zone’ is becoming one of the most serious challenges facing contemporary democracies. It has long been recognised that future conflicts might be won before any shots are fired. But knowing that is cold comfort, because authoritarian states are continually evolving their capacity to develop and deploy offensive tools in their cyber-enabled, information and hybrid warfare arsenals.

July 15, 2021

Lawmaker: Special Operations Must Adapt to Gray Zone Conflict

Increasing gray zone conflicts around the world means U.S. Special Operations Command must adapt to the era of great power competition while still being a counter-terrorism force, a key House lawmaker said Wednesday.

July 12, 2021

NSWC Dahlgren Division Scientist Melissa Olson Phipps Discusses Charting Her Unexpected Career PathNSWC Dahlgren Division Scientist Melissa Olson Phipps Discusses Charting Her Unexpected Career Path

It was during her time as an intern at Dahlgren that Olson Phipps became inspired to change direction and follow a pathway toward directed energy technology. “When I joined Dahlgren, the directed energy program was becoming more established though the team was still relatively small. I came in at a time when the team had great ideas and were exploring innovative testing and evaluation methods to prove the utility of directed energy,” she said. “I became involved with the laser testing and data analysis processes and just knew I wanted to be part of this cutting edge technology.”

July 7, 2021

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine Tours NSWC Dahlgren Division

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine visited Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) on June 30 for briefs on High Energy Laser (HEL) capabilities and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) as well as facility tours and demonstrations.

July 2, 2021

AFRL holds high power electromagnetic wargaming event

The Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate held its second in a series of wargaming, modeling, and simulation events June 21 - 25 at Kirtland AFB. The latest Directed Energy Utility Concept Experiment, or DEUCE, focused on the use of high power electromagnetic (HPEM) weapons as part of an integrated air defense system, whereas the DEUCE held in January concentrated on the capabilities of high energy laser systems.

May 17, 2021

NSWC Dahlgren Division Scientists Rapidly Deliver High-Energy Laser to the Fleet Despite Pandemic

As COVID-19 spread across the nation and world in March 2020, an elite group of federal employees developed and executed a strategy to continue development, integration, testing and installation of a laser weapon aboard Navy warships. Their plan guaranteed that progress on high-energy programs would not be impacted as they pressed forward to operationally install those systems aboard several warships on schedule in spite of the pandemic.

May 15, 2021

Marines break ground on new war game center

The Marine Corps broke ground here on what it plans will be a state-of-the-art war gaming center, to direct war fighting experiments and pull feedback from across the fleet to continuously refine how Marines fight.