Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

Just days after the US showcased one of their most powerful microwave weapons that can jam signals over a large area, China, is now claiming that they have developed the world’s most powerful microwave weapon that can be fitted in a drone, and

Just days after the US showcased one of their most powerful microwave weapons that can jam signals over a large area, Chinese military scientists and industry engineers claim to have developed a microwave source for drones that surpasses anything currently available worldwide, potentially altering the balance of military power permanently.

The breakthrough, detailed in a peer-reviewed paper published in the High Power Laser and Particle Beams journal, involves a powerful yet compact microwave weapon designed to fit various drone models.

Led by Professor Li Jianbing and his team at the PLA Strategic Support Force Information Engineering University, the researchers highlight the versatility of the microwave source, suggesting it can be used as a radar while jamming the enemy’s radar and communication systems.

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The compact design allows the weapon to be customized to fit on different drones seamlessly, offering a “plug-and-play” capability.

Unlike conventional small microwave sources, which often have limited output and bandwidth, the new technology is described as a game-changer. It can operate over an ultra-wide frequency range and compete with larger weapons, such as professional electronic warfare aircraft.

The researchers claim that the drone-mounted microwave source can perform multiple functions, including radar operation, target monitoring on the ground, in water, or in the sky, and electronic jamming.

The team asserts that they have achieved a technological milestone by successfully integrating various functions into a small package.

The microwave source is said to work synergistically, overcoming challenges that arise when different components, such as radar transceivers and jamming devices, operate simultaneously.

The weapon’s core component is a device called the travelling wave tube, a vacuum where electrons generate microwave power. While this technology has traditionally been used as a microwave generator, Chinese scientists have repurposed it into a supersensitive antenna, eliminating the need for a separate radar on the drone.

This innovation, coupled with the compact design, makes the technology a potent tool for electronic warfare.

China, a major player in drone production, is leveraging its advancements in unmanned aircraft technology to stir up an arms race.

The affordability and capability of Chinese military drones, equipped with powerful microwave weapons, could provide a strategic advantage, particularly in regions like the South China Sea and Taiwan. The researchers suggest that these drones armed with microwave weapons could disrupt or deceive enemy radars, enhancing China’s defence capabilities in contested maritime territories.

The Chinese military aims to expand the application of these microwave weapons by integrating them into hypersonic aircraft and other near-space platforms, potentially extending China’s influence in electronic warfare globally.

The collaboration between the Chinese military and industries indicates a concerted effort to deploy these advanced technologies on an expanding drone fleet.

(With input from agencies)

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