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Booz Allen Hamilton Forms Directed Energy Business

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MCLEAN, Va., Oct. 13, 2022 — Digital system integrator and data-driven artificial intelligence (AI) company Booz Allen Hamilton has created HELworks, a developer of directed energy (DE) and high-energy laser (HEL) weapon systems. The newly formed unit is headquartered in Fredericksburg, Va., home to a design and development facility that specializes in rapid prototyping and integration of HEL systems. A second HELworks facility is located in Knoxville, Tenn., home to a 15,000-sq-ft laser weapons integration facility.

According to Susan Penfield, CTO of Booz Allen Hamilton, the formation of the company comes as Booz Allen Hamilton has matured a portfolio of DE solutions and delivered systems for operational test and evaluation. Booz Allen Hamilton announced the creation of HELworks saying that the company will leverage Booz Allen Hamilton’s 25-plus-year heritage of DE expertise.

Despite growing threats from asymmetric warfare, rocket-assisted munitions, drones, and more, DE weapon systems have consistently remained too heavy, too large, and too underpowered for widespread deployment, according to Booz Allen Hamilton. HELworks aims to use modular architectures and optimize size, weight, and power (SWaP) to bring DE capabilities into settings that align with the needs of the nation’s military.

The HELworks family initially consists of three products: the High Energy Laser Mission Equipment Package (HEL MEP); the Modular Compact High Energy Laser (MCHEL); and LightEngine, a low-SWaP, fully integrated, and risk-reduced meta-subsystem consisting of power, cooling, lasers, control, and integrated packaging.

HEL MEP is a conjoined kinetic and nonkinetic weapon system designed for use in Stryker armored vehicles. HEL MEP brings together LightEngine with a beam director and weapon fire control/tracking/targeting system by Blue Halo, and the Reconfigurable Integrated-Weapons Platform (RIWP), a kinetic weapons turret by Moog.

MCHEL is a complete HEL system tailored to the precision-strike mission set, equipped for firing times up to 1 min at up to 12 kW of power. MCHEL is designed for static-on-static ground engagements. Operational MCHEL prototypes have been designed, developed, field tested, and delivered, and HELworks is planning to conduct initial field testing of HEL MEP, including its LightEngine subsystem, in the coming months, according to Booz Allen Hamilton.
Oct 2022
Directed EnergyLasersHELHigh Energy Laserslasers for defenseBooz Allen HamiltonBusinesslaser systemsdefenseaerospace & defenseAmericasHELworksweaponsSWaP

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