Lockheed Martin, specializing in aircraft manufacturing, aerospace engineering, shipbuilding and weapons manufacturing, has signed a contract under which it will develop and deploy the US Navy’s innovative laser weapons. Work on the creation of laser guns was carried out by the company’s engineers for more than one year. We even told you about this kind of weapons on the pages of our site, but only now the military has officially expressed interest in such developments and decided to support Lockheed Martin financially.
The first contract for $ 150 million implies an increase of this amount by another 942 million if the Pentagon arranges the quality of the laser guns created by Lockheed Martin engineers. These tools will combine in themselves a field-tested powerful laser installation and an optical guidance system. The system is called HELIOS, and it is quite capable of not only shooting down enemy UAVs and drowning small boats , but also hunt down and dazzle the enemy at great distances. The first two examples of laser weapons will be supplied to the US Navy in 2020. One laser installation will be equipped with a squadron destroyer of the Arly Burke class, while the second cannon will be sent for testing to one of the military bases in New Mexico.
“The HELIOS project is the first of its kind, because it combines laser weapons, the possibility of operational reconnaissance over long distances, as well as the ability to resist unmanned aerial vehicles. All this significantly improves situational awareness and protection of US Navy ships. We are very proud that the Pentagon has entrusted Lockheed Martin with the creation of such weapons systems, “concluded Michelle Evans, vice president of Integrated Systems and Sensors.
The HELIOS system is based on two other Lockheed Martin projects. The first of these is ATHENA , a laser cannon with self-guidance, capable of knocking down unmanned aerial vehicles at great distances. The second is called ALADIN, which is a reduction from the Accelerated Laser Demonstration Initiative, and is a particularly powerful 30-kilowatt laser. The use of fiber optic lasers allows achieving radiation stability, as well as a compact installation size. In addition, one of the requirements for installation is a maximum stable platform, excluding any vibrations that can interfere with the laser beam to hit the target.