Lockheed-Martin has delivered a 300 Kw high-energy laser to the US Department of Defense

Directed Energy weapons are, in the eyes of the Pentagon and the American armies, the preferred solution to respond to the evolution of aerial threats, in particular with regard to drones of all sizes and cruise missiles. As part of the Indirect Fires Protection Capability – High Energy Laser, or IFPC-HEL program, the manufacturer Lockheed-Martin has just delivered a laser with a power of 300 Kw to the Department of La Défense. This laser will take part in experiments under the IFPC-HEL program by the end of the year, and is the culmination of a united effort in 2019 to acquire a high-energy laser of 300 Kw or more. , and designated High Energy Laser Scaling Initiative (HELSI).

This development is part of a global effort to provide the US armies with a range of high-energy, high-performance lasers to protect potential land, naval or air targets. Thus, the US Army presented at the beginning of the year DE-SHORAD Guardian prototype, a Stryker-type armored vehicle equipped with a 50 Kw laser intended to protect ground units from short-range threats of the C-RAM type (Cruise Missile – Rocket, Artillery and Mortar shells), as well as drones and stray ammunition. The 300 Kw laser delivered by Lockheed-Martin is intended for the IFPC-HEL Valkyrie program shipping in a 20-foot container the laser, the detection and targeting system, as well as the power supply system, in order to protect sensitive sites from this type of threat, including saturation. Finally, the US Army announced the development of a 20 Kw laser on board a light armored 4×4 Infantry Squad Vehicle type as part of the Multi-Purpose High Energy Laser program, in order to neutralize enemy reconnaissance drones .

DEMSHORAD Test e1629289407546 Analysis Defense | Laser Weapons and Directed Energy | Air defense
The De-SHORAD Guardian implements a 50 Kw laser on board an 8×8 Stryker armored vehicle. Notice the heatsinks all over the shield.

The US Navy is not to be outdone in this area, since it has just equipped its first destroyer, the USS Preble, with a 60 Kw laser as part of the High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-Dazzler program. and Surveillance (HELIOS), initiated in 2018. This laser aims to engage and destroy light targets such as reconnaissance drones, but also to counter the Electro-optical detection equipment on board these devices, in order to have a graduated but effective response. Eventually, the US Navy aims to equip its ships with a laser with a power of at least 500 Kw, the threshold considered necessary to effectively constitute an effective defense against anti-ship missiles.

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