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Raytheon delivers first laser counter-drone system to USAF

29 Oct 2019

Laser-sensor combination mounted on “dune buggy” all terrain vehicle undergoing overseas field testing.

Defense technology company Raytheon has delivered the first high-energy laser counter-unmanned aerial system (drone) to the U.S. Air Force, earlier this month. The system will be deployed overseas as part of a year-long USAF experiment to train operators and test the system's effectiveness in real-world conditions.

This high-energy laser weapon system uses an advanced variant of the company's Multi-spectral Targeting System, an electro-optical/infrared sensor, to detect, identify and track rogue drones. Once targeted, the system engages the threat, neutralizing the drone in a matter of seconds.

'Frequent incursions'

"Five years ago, few people worried about the drone threat," said Roy Azevedo, president of Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. "Now, we hear about such 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."

The company installed its high-energy laser weapon system on a small all-terrain vehicle. On a single charge from a standard 220-volt outlet, the HELWS can deliver intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability and dozens of precise laser shots. It can also be paired with a generator to provide an almost infinite number of shots, the company stated.

Raytheon is integrating multiple proven technologies to counter the unmanned aerial system threat across a wide range of scenarios – from commercial airports to forward operating bases to crowded stadiums. Raytheon's portfolio of sensors, command and control systems, and kinetic and non-kinetic effectors covers all aspects of the UAS threat.

Leaders named for Raytheon-United Technologies merger

Raytheon’s Chairman and CEO Thomas Kennedy has announced leadership appointments for the Raytheon businesses that will be consolidated following the close of the merger with United Technologies.

Roy Azevedo becomes president of the Intelligence, Space and Airborne Systems, which combines Space and Airborne Systems (SAS); Intelligence, Information and Services (IIS); and Forcepoint. The new business unit is set to have 2019 sales of approximately $15 billion.

Wesley Kremer becomes president of the Integrated Defense and Missile Systems, which combines Missile Systems (MS) and Integrated Defense Systems (IDS). The new business unit will have 2019 sales of approximately $16 billion.

AlluxaMad City Labs, Inc.CeNing Optics Co LtdABTechLASEROPTIK GmbHHÜBNER PhotonicsUniverse Kogaku America Inc.
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