Lockheed Martin has handed over a high energy laser with integrated optical-dazzler and surveillance (HELIOS) system to the US Navy.

It is the first of two 60+ kW-class tactical laser weapon system to be equipped on the US Navy warships.

Delivery of the two integrated weapon systems is part of the US Navy’s $150m contract awarded to Lockheed Martin in 2018.

In 2020, the HELIOS system completed the US Navy’s critical design review (CDR), which was followed by testing and integration in January last year.

During this test in 2021, the system was initially integrated on to an Arleigh Burke-class Flight IIA destroyer with Aegis combat system.

However, the company said that the HELIOS system can also be adapted for other warships and combat systems, including big-deck amphibious vessels and aircraft carriers, with the Ship Self-Defence System (SSDS).

Lockheed Martin Advanced Product Solutions vice president Rick Cordaro said: “Lockheed Martin and US Navy share a common vision and enthusiasm for developing and providing disruptive laser weapon systems.

“HELIOS enhances the overall combat system effectiveness of the ship to deter future threats and provide additional protection for sailors, and we understand we must provide scalable solutions customised to the Navy’s priorities.

“HELIOS represents a solid foundation for incremental delivery of robust and powerful laser weapon system capabilities.”

Lockheed Martin’s integrated and scalable HELIOS system will provide directed energy capability to the US Navy fleet.

It features deep magazine, low-cost per kill along with a speed of light delivery and accurate response, thereby providing an additional layer of protection to the fleet.

Furthermore, this multi-mission system can deliver tactically relevant laser weapon system warfighting capabilities, which is a crucial component of layered defence architecture.