Lockheed Martin announces its 'most powerful' 500kW laser
Lockheed Martin's 500 kW-class laser will be tactically configured and ready to support military platforms. (Image: Lockheed Martin)
Lockheed Martin has announced a 500kW laser that it says is its ‘most powerful’ yet.
The 500kW laser, developed under a new contract just awarded by OUSD (R&E), is the second phase of the High Energy Laser Scaling Initiative (HELSI). It will be tactically configured, utilise Lockheed Martin’s spectral beam combined architecture to support military platforms, and incorporate Department of Defense Modular Open System Approach standards to ensure the systems interoperability and multi-mission integration.
The new phase of HELSI aims to increase the laser’s power level while achieving excellent beam quality and optimizing efficiency, size, weight, and volume for the continuous-wave high energy laser sources, the firm says.
“The Department of Defense’s Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering OUSD (R&E) has invested to mature high energy lasers in support of America’s warfighters. At the same time, Lockheed Martin has invested in our production infrastructure in anticipation of the Department of Defense’s demand for laser weapons that have additional layers of protection with deep magazines, low cost per engagement, high speed of light delivery and high precision response reducing logistics requirements,” said Rick Cordaro, Vice President of Mission Systems & Weapons at Lockheed Martin.
Lockheed Martin’s laser tops its previous 300kW laser developed under a contract from the OUSD (R&E).
Cordaro said: “The 500kW laser will incorporate our successes from the 300kW system and lessons learned from legacy programs to further prove the capability to defend against a range of threats.”