Raytheon Delivers High-Energy Laser to US Air Force

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Raytheon Co., a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government, and cybersecurity solutions, delivered the first high-energy laser counter-unmanned aerial system (UAS) to the U.S. Air Force earlier this month. The Air Force will deploy the system overseas as part of a year-long experiment, to test the system's efficacy in real-world conditions and to train operators.

Raytheon's high-energy laser weapon system uses an advanced variant of the company's multispectral targeting system (MTS) — an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor — to detect, identify, and track combative drones. Once targeted, the system engages with and neutralizes the aircraft in seconds.

“Five years ago, few people worried about the drone threat,” said Roy Azevedo, president of Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. “Now, we hear about attacks or incursions all the time. Our customers saw this coming and asked us to develop a ready-now counter-UAS capability. 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 (HELWS) on a small all-terrain vehicle. On a single charge from a standard 220-V outlet, the HELWS can deliver intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability, and dozens of precise laser shots. Paired with a generator, it can provide an almost unlimited number of shots.

Raytheon is integrating multiple proven technologies to counter UAS dangers across a wide range of targets, such as commercial airports, forward operating bases, and crowded stadiums. Raytheon's portfolio of sensors, command and control (C2) systems, and kinetic and nonkinetic effectors offers effective defenses against the various threats posed by UASs.


Raytheon's high-energy laser weapon counters UAS threats.

Published: October 2019
BusinessRaytheonTexasair forcedronesdefenseLasersunmanned aerial systemsweaponslight speed

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