ONR contracts Raytheon to develop laser device for light vehicle deployment

14 August 2014 (Last Updated August 14th, 2014 18:30)

The US Navy Office of Naval Research (ONR) has awarded a contract to Raytheon to build a vehicle-based laser device that can defeat low-flying threats, including rival drones.

The US Navy Office of Naval Research (ONR) has awarded a contract to Raytheon to build a vehicle-based laser device that can defeat low-flying threats, including rival drones.

The decision brings the laser weapon system a step closer to reality.

"Raytheon's laser solution generates high power output in a small, lightweight rugged package ideally suited for mobile platforms."

As part of the ground-based air defence (GBAD) directed energy on-the-move future naval capabilities programme, Raytheon needs to demonstrate a Humvee-mounted short-range laser weapon system that can offer a minimum power output of 25kW.

Raytheon Space Systems vice-president Bill Hart said: "Raytheon's laser solution generates high power output in a small, lightweight rugged package ideally suited for mobile platforms."

The new field-testing vehicle-based laser weapons, to be built under an $11m contract, will be packaged to comply with the US Marine Corps' size, weight and power requirements.

Integrating planar waveguide (PWG) technology, which is claimed to be a key part of its exclusive approach to high-energy lasers, the new laser systems can produce adequate power to efficiently engage small aircraft.

Hart added: "Our PWG laser architecture is scalable. We can achieve increasingly higher power levels with the same compact design we're using for GBAD.

"Raytheon is paving the way for fielded directed-energy weapon systems in the very near future with the demonstration of a Marine Humvee-based high-energy laser."

Defence Technology