American defense contractor Lockheed Martin has supplied the US Department of Defense (DoD) with its highest-powered electric laser to date.
The “tactically-relevant” 300 kW-class laser will be integrated into DoD demonstration efforts, including the US Army’s Indirect Fires Protection Capability-High Energy Laser (IFPC-HEL) system.
The demonstration, one of the Army’s 35 signature modernization priorities, is pending laboratory and field testing this year.
“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,” Lockheed Vice President Rick Cordaro said.
In a statement, the defense giant said it developed the laser under the Pentagon’s High Energy Laser Scaling Initiative (HELSI), which aims at improving the “spectral beam combined high energy laser architecture to the 300 kW-class level.”
“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,” Lockheed said.
Lockheed’s Laser Weapons
Lockheed Martin has achieved recent milestones with its laser weapons.
In August, the company delivered a 60-kilowatt-class high-energy laser with an integrated optical-dazzler and surveillance (HELIOS) system to the US Navy.
The multi-mission system enables enhanced combat effectiveness and protection against potential threats.
Meanwhile, the US Air Force received Lockheed’s smallest airborne laser weapon system, Laser Advancements for Next-generation Compact Environments (LANCE) in February.
LANCE was the first laser weapon to be mounted on a Boeing pod to counter airborne threats, including aircraft and surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles.