Raytheon has delivered the first high-energy laser counter-unmanned aerial system to the US Air Force, with the system set to be deployed overseas as part of a year-long USAF experiment to train operators and test the system’s effectiveness in real-world conditions.
CAPTION: Raytheon’s ‘laser dune buggy’ – a high-energy laser weapon system mounted on an MRZR vehicle – will be deployed by the USAF shortly.Raytheon image.
Raytheon’s high-energy laser weapon system uses an advanced variant of the company’s Multi-spectral Targeting System, an electro-optical/infrared sensor, to detect, identify and track rogue drones.
Once targeted, the system engages the threat, neutralising the drone with directed energy in a matter of seconds.
President of Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems Roy Azevedo said that just five years ago, few people worried about the drone threat, but now attacks or incursions are regularly spoken of.
“Our customers saw this coming and asked us to develop a ready-now counter-UAS capability,” Mr Azevedo said.
“We did just that by going from the drawing board to delivery in less than 24 months.”
Raytheon installed its high-energy laser weapon system on a small all-terrain vehicle.
On a single charge from a standard 220-volt outlet, the HELWS can deliver intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability and dozens of precise laser shots.
It can also be paired with a generator to provide a nearly infinite number of shots.
Raytheon is also integrating multiple proven technologies to counter the unmanned aerial system threat across a wide range of scenarios – from commercial airports and crowded stadiums to military forward operating bases.