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Raytheon Integrates Laser Counter Drone System With NASAMS Air Defense

Raytheon Intelligence & Space paired the High Energy Laser Weapon System (HELWS) and the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) in a recent counter-drone demonstration.

Cued by the NASAMS Fire Distribution Center, the HELWS downed nine drones during the live-fire exercise at White Sands Missile Range.

The laser weapon system used “automated target cueing and a full spectrum of electro-optical/infrared sensors” to track, identify, and strike two types of drones.

Displays ‘Flexibility’ Against Drone Threat

The exercise demonstrated interoperability between the HELWS counter-drone system and the NASAMS medium-range air defense system co-developed by Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace. The air defense system consists of the “Sentinel radar, Fire Distribution Center, and a suite of effectors.”

According to Raytheon, the integration provides HELWS “end users maximum flexibility to engage unmanned aircraft threats as part of an integrated air defense.”

President of Electronic Warfare Systems for RI&S, Annabel Flores, said: “Drone threats are particularly dangerous in any environment – from soccer stadiums to battlefields – because they’re not easy to spot and take down.”

“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.”

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