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Tuesday 20 September 2022

US Military Gets ‘Most Powerful Laser Weapon Till Date’; Lockheed Delivers 300 KW DEW Under HELSI Program

 US Military Gets ‘Most Powerful Laser Weapon Till Date’; Lockheed Delivers 300 KW DEW Under HELSI Program

In July this year, U.S. lawmakers asked the armed services to expedite efforts toward developing Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs). The U.S. defense industrial complex has been testing High beam laser weapons in conjunction with the military at an unprecedented speed.

U.S. Defense giant Lockheed Martin recently revealed that it had delivered a 300-kilowatt laser to the Defense Department for use in future Army high-energy laser demonstrations. It is the highest-powered laser to date for the U.S. Department Of Defense.

Lockheed Martin developed the laser as part of the Pentagon’s High Energy Laser Scaling Initiative (HELSI), which aims to expand the directed energy industrial base and enhance the caliber of laser beams.

 in spite of to the press release, Lockheed was chosen by the Pentagon in 2019 to scale its spectrum beam merged high energy laser architecture to the 300 kW-class level as part of the HELSI project. The task was done ahead of schedule,  in spite of to the announcement.

Given its accuracy, quick response, and high “hit probability” against fast-moving missiles, DEWs are becoming more  famous as non-kinetic hard and soft kill defenses against ballistic missile threats.

Lockheed Martin vice president of advanced product solutions Rick Cordaro stated that the laser uses “spectral beam combination architecture.”

Spectral beam combining (SBC), also referred to as wavelength beam combining, is the process of superimposing several laser emitter outputs at distinct wavelengths to create a single beam.

The laser will partake in and assist U.S. Army’s Indirect Fires Protection Capability-High Energy Laser (IFPC-HEL) scheduled for lab and field testing this year.

IFPC-HEL program is one of the 35 key modernization goals for the Army. While it is run by the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies (RCCTC) Office, the program is part of the service’s priority area for air and missile defense.

Previously, RCCTC coordinated the development of the Directed Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (DEM-SHORAD) prototype, which was tested against drones and mortars last year with limited success.

By 2022, the U.S. Army intends to have two different types of laser weapons systems for air defense, including weapons of the 50 kilowatts and 300-kilowatt types installed on General Dynamics’ Stryker armored vehicles.

U.S. Military Deploying Laser As Top Priority

The U.S. Defense Department is keen on directed energy systems, such as high-energy lasers and high-power microwaves, to defend troops and military installations against aerial threats, such as short-range air defense and drones, rockets, mortars, and artillery.

રાજસ્થાન ના કર્મચારીની પગાર સ્લીપ

Since there is no ‘deployment time’ with lasers, they are an excellent instrument for aerial interception, which makes them ideal for missile defense systems.

To that end, the  2023 National Defense Authorization Act calls for bolstering the U.S. and allied air defenses against unmanned aerial systems (UAS/UAV), rockets, and artillery, as conflicts in Europe, the Middle East, and a possible war in the Western Pacific.

The delivery of a 300kW laser weapon by Lockheed Martin comes almost a month after it delivered the High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-Dazzler and Surveillance (HELIOS), a 60+ kW-class laser, to the U.S. Navy. HELIOS was mounted on the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Preble (DDG-88).

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