Lockheed Martin delivers its most powerful laser weapon to the US military

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Just recently, Lockheed Martin revealed that it delivered a 300 kilowatt laser to the Department of Defense, as reported by Interesting Engineering. The laser will later be used in military high-energy laser demonstrations. So far, the new laser is the most powerful yet.

(Photo: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images)
This photograph taken on June 13, 2022 shows the logo of American defense manufacturer Lockheed Martin on display at the international land and air-land defense and security exhibition Eurosatory, in Villepinte, in the northern suburbs of Paris.

High Energy Laser Scaling Initiative (HELSI)

The laser was developed as part of the Pentagon’s HELSI, which aims to expand the industrial directed-energy base and increase the caliber of laser beams. Lockheed was chosen by the Pentagon in 2019 to upgrade its combined spectral beam high-energy laser structure to the 300 kW class as part of the HELSI project.

The new laser will be used in a number of demonstration projects, such as the US Army‘s Indirect High Energy Indirect Fire Protection Capability Demonstration Laser Weapon System (IFPC-HEL). It is expected that the laboratory and field tests will be carried out later this year.

Rick Cordaro, Vice President of Advanced Product Solutions at Lockheed Martin, said, “Lockheed Martin has increased the power and efficiency and reduced the weight and volume of high-energy continuous wave lasers, reducing the risk for future high power laser weapon system fielding efforts.

The laser comes with a higher energy capacity that can engage targets at greater ranges. Additionally, it is more cost effective as Lockheed Martin focuses on reducing the size and weight of the laser so that it becomes deployable on land, sea, and other aerial platforms.

The company was chosen from several vendors and they were able to deliver on time.

Read also : Lockheed Martin is testing a multi-layered laser weapon that protects soldiers from large-scale enemy attacks

The need for laser weapons

Today, the US military is working to achieve laser-centric warfare to keep pace with adversary states. Lasers are a key technology for laser weapon systems, and the Pentagon aims to fund directed energy weapons. The purpose of this venture is to expand the industrial base of companies that can enter key markets in the future that deal with directed energy weapons and technologies. The US military has also discussed deploying laser weapons in the future.

Lasers are vital for a number of futuristic battlefield operations. A laser weapon can be used to jam or disrupt enemy sensors and weapon systems. One of the primary applications of laser weapons is to shoot down incoming missiles and drones.

Among the advantages is the fact that laser weapons can fire at a much faster rate than conventional projectiles. Therefore, the laser can fire more shots in a shorter amount of time with higher accuracy.

More importantly, it can eliminate the target without causing collateral damage to nearby structures or civilians. Lasers are also accurate and can be used for long range targeting.

Related article: Lockheed Martin Successfully Delivers HELIOS, US Navy Gains New Tactical Advantage

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Written by April Fowell

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