According to a press release shared by Lockheed Martin on 11th January, the U.S. Navy will field the first acquisition program to deploy the High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance or HELIOS, a laser weapon system with high-energy fibre lasers for permanent fielding by the U.S. Department of Defense.
This will be the only deployed laser system integrated into an operational Flight IIA DDG. This follows the Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Navy’s recent demonstration of full laser power in excess of the 60 kW requirement. The scalable laser design architecture spectrally combines multiple kilowatt fiber lasers to attain high beam quality at various power levels.
Lockheed Martin completed the Critical Design Review and Navy Factory Qualification Test milestones in 2020, demonstrating the value of system engineering rigor and proven Aegis system integration and test processes on the way to delivering operationally effective and suitable laser weapon system that meets the Navy’s mission requirements.
Lockheed Martin Directed Energy solutions provide a proven, affordable, scalable, multi-mission capability and weapon architecture with advanced beam control and innovative fiber lasers that support size, weight and power constraints for air, sea and land platforms. Lockheed Martin is advancing and demonstrating a range of technologies to position laser weapon systems for success on the battlefield and at-sea on a variety of platforms.
It was announced in 2019 that the Pearl Harbor-based USS Preble will be the first destroyer to be equipped with a high-energy laser to counter surface craft and unmanned aerial systems, according to a published report.
The HELIOS effort is focused on rapidly fielding a 60-kilowatt high-energy laser with “growth potential” to 150 kilowatts.
The Navy previously tested a 30-kilowatt laser in 2017 aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, shooting a small Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle out of the sky.
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