An Epirus Leonidas counter-drone system mounted on a Stryker vehicle.

An Epirus Leonidas counter-drone system mounted on a Stryker vehicle. Epirus

Defense startups team up to defeat drone swarms

Anduril and Epirus combined forces for a system they pitched to U.S. Marines.

Defense startups Anduril and Epirus have combined their technology to create a system that can identify and defeat swarming drones—making them fall out of the sky.

The counter-drone system, which combines Epirus’ high-power microwave called Leonidas and Andril’s Lattice command-and-control technology, was put together for a recent U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory demonstration, the companies said.

“This integration with Epirus’ Leonidas provides a new capability to the warfighter that can be used as a part of a series of various layered defeat capabilities connected to Anduril’s Lattice Operating System,” the companies said in a statement provided to Defense One.

The Pentagon has become increasingly interested in stopping swarms of drones that fly in coordination with one another to attack a target. Swarming drones have been used by both Russia and Ukraine over the past year.

The U.S. military currently fields a hodgepodge of counter-drone systems that use different types of technology. They range from vehicles outfitted with radars and rockets to handheld jammers that make drones fall from the sky. Then there are lasers and even technology to take over a drone’s control system and send it to the ground.

The kinetic work in the Marine demo is done by Epirus’ Leonidas high-power microwave. A video posted on the company’s website shows a swarm of drones falling from the sky as they approach the truck-mounted system.

Anduril and Epirus said they would continue to work together “to build new capabilities in support of the [Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory’s] ongoing efforts to develop and integrate C-UAS sensors, effectors, and C2 systems into concept-based experiments to inform requirements in support of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Force Design process to improve ground forces’ ability to detect and defeat small UAS.”

U.S. Special Operations Command awarded Anduil a nearly $1 billion contract for counter-drone technology in January 2022.