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Raytheon developing laser weapon systems for US Air Force

07 Aug 2019

System designed to defeat drones and other threats with combination of laser and microwave technologies.

Defense technology company Raytheon is to deploy two prototype high-energy laser weapon systems to troops overseas under a U.S. Air Force contract. The Air Force experimentation includes 12 months of in-field operation against unmanned aerial systems and operator training.

Raytheon's High Energy Laser Weapon System (HELWS) uses pure energy to detect, identify and instantly take down drones. It can target a single drone with precision.

The HELWS is paired with Raytheon's Multi-spectral Targeting System. It uses invisible beams of light to defeat hostile UASs. Mounted on a Polaris MRZR all-terrain vehicle, the system detects, identifies, tracks and engages drones (see video, below).

'Rogue drones'

"Every day, there's another story about a rogue drone incident," said Stefan Baur, VP of Raytheon Electronic Warfare Systems.

"These threats aren't going away, and in many instances, shooting them with a high energy laser weapon system is the most effective and safest way to bring them down." The contract follows successful demonstrations of Raytheon's directed energy systems for the Air Force and the U.S. Army

Raytheon, headquartered in Waltham, Mass, USA, with 2018 sales of $27 billion and 67,000 employees, is a technology developer specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions. With a history of innovation spanning 97 years, the firm provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration, defense products and services, and mission support for customers in more than 80 countries.

Raytheon HELWS

The following video presents key aspects of Raytheon’s patented laser technology and explains how its precision targeting are paving the way for countering unmanned aerial systems and other threats:

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