Home Americas Raytheon pairs HELWS laser with NASAMS missile system

Raytheon pairs HELWS laser with NASAMS missile system

HELWS, which is mounted on a Polaris MRZR all-terrain vehicle, is seen at the White Sands Missile Range with the NASAMS FDC in the background. Photo: Raytheon

Raytheon Intelligence & Space says it has demonstrated the pairing of the High Energy Laser Weapon System (HELWS) with the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS).

During the live-fire exercise, the HELWS received cues from the NASAMS fire distribution center and used automated target cueing and a full spectrum of electro-optical/infrared sensors to track, identify and take down drones. The HELWS took down nine Group 1 and Group 2 drones over the White Sands Missile Range.

“Drone threats are particularly dangerous in any environment – from soccer stadiums to battlefields – because they’re not easy to spot and take down,” said Annabel Flores, president of Electronic Warfare Systems for RI&S. “We’re showing the world that our defensive laser weapons can plug into existing air defenses to find and drop drones in the blink of an eye.”

According to the company, representatives from multiple US military and civilian agencies as well as international ministries of defense gathered at the White Sands Missile Range to see how the HELWS is interoperable with existing command and control systems.

The NASAMS medium-range air defense solution, co-developed by Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, consists of the Sentinel radar, fire distribution center, and a suite of effectors. The demonstration showcased the ability to integrate a counter-unmanned aircraft systems solution with NASAMS, “adding to its interoperability and medium-range air defense capabilities,” the company said.