ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a growing threat that our military wasn’t necessarily ready for. Now, engineers at Kirtland Air Force Base have come up with a solution, and they did it quickly.
The Tactical High Power Microwave Operational Responder, easier to remember by its nickname, ‘THOR,’ is dropping the hammer on drones.
“We create a counter electronic effect, we target the drones and drop them. We implement a hard kill on those drones, and drop them out of the sky,” said Amber Anderson, the Program Manager for THOR.
THOR was created quickly for a high powered microwave system, only taking them 18 months. A project like this one could typically take up to five years.
Because of the growing threat, it was crucial to create something that could be used immediately. It cost about $15 million to create. At least half of that was spent in Albuquerque.
It’s also practical. Built in a storage container, THOR can stand up to hurricane force winds. It can be assembled quickly, and it has a much further reach than bullets or a net gun, making it simpler and more efficient than shooting the drone.
THOR can work off a generator, so it can be deployed anywhere.
THOR is just a prototype. It will be reviewed by the Department of Defense. It could take two to three years before it’s approved and send out into the field.