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U.S. Navy Installs High-Power Microwave (HPM) Weapon in 2026

US Navy to test HPM

The U.S. Navy plans to install a High-Power Microwave (HPM) anti-aircraft and anti-missile defence system on its ships in 2026. According to the U.S. Navy’s Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25) budget request documents, the service will have a new type of directed energy weapon system called Meteor. This is part of the Navy’s Rapid Defence Experimentation Reserve (RDER) projects. At the same time, the U.S. Army and Air Force are working on their own programs to develop high-power microwave weapons. The U.S. Navy will test the Meteor air and missile defence system against UAVs as well as anti-ship missiles. Unlike laser weapons, which “burn” a target using a high-powered laser beam, the microwave system can produce various effects, including disabling the target’s electronic systems. Microwave systems have the advantage over laser systems in dealing with multiple targets, such as swarms of UAVs. The system is also effective in adverse weather conditions, while laser requires optimum visual conditions.