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Lockheed Martin laser weapon to be intstalled on US Navy ship

23 Mar 2020

HELIOS system meets US Navy requirements; to be integrated on Arleigh Burke destroyer in 2021.

Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Navy say they have “moved one step closer” to integrating a laser weapon system onto an Arleigh Burke destroyer after successfully conducting a Critical Design Review for the High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance (HELIOS) system.

“Our adversaries are rapidly developing sophisticated weapons, and the threats to the U.S. Navy’s fleet are getting more challenging,” commented Hamid Salim, vice president, Advanced Product Solutions at Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems.

“Our warfighters need this capability and capacity now to effectively counter threats such as unmanned aerial systems and fast attack vessels.”

System integration

This year, 2020, HELIOS will undergo system integration in Moorestown, New Jersey—the home of Aegis Combat System development for 50 years.

The HELIOS system will then be tested at the Wallops Island Navy land-based test site which will significantly reduce program risk before being delivered to a shipyard for integration into an Arleigh Burke destroyer, in 2021. In addition to being built into the ship’s structure, HELIOS will become an integrated component of the ship’s Aegis combat system.

“HELIOS will provide an additional layer of protection for the fleet—deep magazine, low cost per kill, speed of light delivery, and precision response. Additional HELIOS systems will accelerate the warfighter learning curve, provide risk reduction for future laser weapon system increments and provide a stronger demand signal to the supply base,” said Brendan Scanlon, HELIOS program director, Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems.

Lockheed Martin has more than 40 years of experience developing laser weapon systems. HELIOS leverages technology building blocks from internal research and development projects that continue to advance the Navy’s goal to field laser weapon systems aboard surface ships.

New CEO for Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin's Board of Directors has elected James D. Taiclet, 59, as president and CEO, effective June 15, 2020. Taiclet will continue to serve as a member of the corporation's board, which he joined in 2018. He has served as chairman, president and CEO of American Tower Corporation since 2004 and CEO since 2003.

During that time, American Tower grew significantly and increased its market capitalization from approximately $2 billion to approximately $100 billion. Taiclet guided the company's transformation from a primarily U.S. business to a global player in its industry, with significant assets and operations in 19 countries.

Taiclet will succeed Marillyn A. Hewson, 66, who has served as chairman, president and CEO since 2014 and president and CEO since 2013. Hewson will become executive chairman of the board, also effective June 15, subject to her re-election to the board by the stockholders at the upcoming annual meeting.

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