An Anduril unit associated with the company’s Pulsar line of technology. (Anduril)

SOF WEEK 2024 — Defense tech startup Anduril Industries today revealed a family of AI-powered jammers that the company claims can turn the table on rapidly evolving electronic warfare (EW) threats and is already in the field with some US forces.

The weapon system, called Pulsar, can jam devices like drones, provide geolocation services and facilitate communications, according to Sam El-Akkad, Anduril general manager of RF/EW systems. The AI comes in after the tech identifies new threats in the electromagnetic spectrum and compresses the timeline for a response by pushing out a catered defense within hours or days, he said, which can be networked with the entire Pulsar family.

“If any one system learns, and it find something new and unknown, which is also a differentiating feature, then that signal is recorded and captured,” El-Akkad told reporters in a briefing on Friday ahead of the announcement. “And then within hours, it’s analyzed and then it’s pushed back out to all the other systems. So if one system sees something new, all the other systems are trained to see that new thing and recognize it in the future.”

Anduril so far has supplied air- and land-based versions, with a portable model that can be carried by troops in the works. Anduril Chief Strategy Officer Chris Brose declined to identify Pulsar production quantities, its price tag, or what customers are already using it. But in previous press releases, the company identified the system when discussing work for Special Operations Command, and the product is noticeably being debuted during Special Operations Forces (SOF) Week here.

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Military officials have raised alarm over the spread of EW tools in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and other conflicts like the war in Gaza, whose effects are now spilling into civil aviation and shipping. Officials say countering EW threats will be a top priority for a modern conflict with a peer adversary like Russia or China, with some even warning the US is behind its rivals.

“There’s a realization that the United States military is not where it needs to be, in terms of operating in this kind of high-EW threat environment and then having the types of agile capabilities to defend our forces and fight back offensively,” Brose said of the decision to fully disclose Pulsar’s existence. “I think as that conversation is happening, there’s a realization on our part that we need to be much more a part of this.”

Brose also emphasized the system uses open architectures to enable improvements from other vendors.  

“We think that we will make more of an impact on the mission, and we will be more successful as a company by enabling more people to work on the system, build on the system, get capabilities integrated into the system,” he said. “You know, make money through their good work than we would if we tried to lock it down and go the opposite direction, which is often what we see in industry.”

A relative newcomer to the world of byzantine defense acquisitions, Anduril has scored big wins recently over traditional defense primes. Last month, the Air Force announced it awarded Anduril and General Atomics contracts to develop a drone wingman for the service’s Collaborative Combat Aircraft program, besting mainstay defense rivals Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.