Lockheed Martin has revealed it delivered its most potent laser weapon to the US Armed Forces yet.
The 300kW-class laser, the most powerful directed energy weapon that Lockheed Martin has produced to date, was delivered to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering OUSD (R&E).
The company said this system was ready to integrate with the DOD demonstration efforts including the US Army’s Indirect Fires Protection Capability-High Energy Laser (IFPC-HEL) demonstrator laser weapon system. The IFPC-HEL prototype will inform the US Army’s effort to field prototype units with residual combat capability by 2024.
The OUSD (R&E) selected Lockheed Martin and Aculight Corporation in November 2019 to support the demonstration of a stand-alone 300kW-class laser system as part of the High Energy Laser Scaling Initiative (HELSI).
The company is one of three high energy laser producers participating in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD)-led initiative to develop and lab test a 300 kW-class laser in FY22. The Army is the OSD designated proponent for Lockheed Martin in this initiative, while the other companies are Nutronics, Inc., sponsored by the Navy, and General Atomics, sponsored by the Air Force.
“Lockheed Martin increased the power and efficiency and reduced the weight and volume of continuous-wave high energy lasers which reduces risk for future fielding efforts of high power laser weapon systems,” said Rick Cordaro, vice president, Lockheed Martin Advanced Product Solutions.
The HELSI laser will support demonstration efforts with the Army’s IFPC-HEL, which is scheduled for laboratory and field testing this year.
Prior to delivering the IFPC-HEL demonstrator prototype, Lockheed also delivered the 60+ kW-class high energy laser with integrated optical-dazzler and surveillance (HELIOS) to the US Navy, which will be the first tactical laser weapon system to be integrated into existing ships and provide directed energy capability to the fleet.