The Navy and Lockheed Martin are taking a substantial leap forward with ship-based high-powered laser weapons designed to incinerate enemy drones and also perform ISR missions tracking targets such as incoming enemy cruise missiles, aircraft or ships.
The developmental effort, in which the Navy awarded Lockheed a deal up to $1 billion, represents a sizeable technical leap for the Navy’s now-longstanding effort to integrate laser weapons on surface ships.
Lockheed’s High Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-dazzler with Surveillance (HELIOS) system “is the first of its kind, and brings together laser weapon, long-range ISR and counter-UAS options available to the U.S. Navy,” Michele Evans, Lockheed Martin, Vice President and General Manager of Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors, said in a written statement.
As is the case with ground- and air-based laser systems, ship-fired lasers require large amounts of mobile electrical power necessary to generate and strengthen laser attacks.
"HELIOS is one component of the Navy Laser Family of Systems and a major portion of the Navy's incremental strategy for delivery of increased laser weapon capability," Colleen O'Rourke, Spokeswoman for Naval Sea Systems Command, told Warrior Maven.