Lockheed Martin stated recently that it had delivered a 300-kilowatt laser to the Defense Department, which will be integrated into a high-energy laser demonstration by the Army later this year.
The laser was created as part of the Pentagon’s High Energy Laser Scaling Initiative (HELSI), an endeavor to enhance the directed energy industrial base and increase the quality of laser beams.
According to the announcement, the Pentagon chose Lockheed in 2019 to “scale its spectrum beam combined high energy laser architecture to the 300 kW-class level” as part of the HELSI initiative. According to the announcement, the company also finished the work ahead of time.
“Lockheed Martin increased the power and efficiency and reduced the weight and volume of continuous-wave high energy lasers, which reduces the risk for future fielding efforts of high power laser weapon systems,” said Rick Cordaro, vice president of Lockheed Martin Advanced Product Solutions.
The Defense Department is particularly interested in directed energy systems, such as high-energy lasers and high-power microwaves, to defend military personnel and installations against aerial threats such as short-range air defense and against drones, rockets, mortars, and artillery.
According to the announcement, the laser will allow for demonstrations of the Army’s Indirect Fires Protection Capability-High Energy Laser (IFPC-HEL), which is scheduled for lab and field testing this year. The IFPC-HEL project is one of the 35 key modernization targets for the Army. Although it is managed by the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, the project is a component of the service’s priority area for air and missile defense.
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Lockheed Martin also recently delivered a 60+ kW-class laser to the Navy as part of the High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-Dazzler and Surveillance program.
“This recent HELSI delivery milestone also exemplifies Lockheed Martin’s commitment to 21st Century Security, developing advanced technologies that provide speed, agility, and mission solutions that help ensure the U.S. and its allies are always prepared for what’s ahead,” the Lockheed statement said.
Source: Lockheed Martin