Lockheed Martin unleashes a monster laser, radiating with a power of 500 kW. This energetic titanobeast displaces the previous 300 kW mark, emerging as the crown jewel in laser technology.
Climbing to the Highest: Lockheed Martin’s HELSI Initiative
Under the auspices of the US Department of Defense, Lockheed Martin‘s emerald jewel has sprung up thanks to a recent contract from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD R&E). This new behemoth of light is part of the second phase of the High Energy Laser Scaling Initiative (HELSI).
HELSI’s goal is to go beyond simple figures. It seeks to increase power and optimize the beam quality, efficiency, and dimensions of high-energy continuous wave laser sources. By demonstrating its capability, this new device will decrease the risks of deploying these systems for all six US military branches.
“We have invested in our production infrastructure, anticipating the demand for laser weapons from the Department of Defense. Weapons that offer additional protection, high precision and reduce logistics requirements,” said Rick Cordaro, vice president of Mission Systems & Weapons at Lockheed Martin.
The Legacy of High Energy Lasers and Future Demonstrations
OUSD (R&E)’s choice of Lockheed Martin in 2019 to augment its laser architecture is clear evidence of confidence in its competence. This vote of confidence was not in vain, as the team achieved the 300 kW laser milestone ahead of schedule.
The new laser will serve in the Army’s IFPC-HEL laboratory and field tests, scheduled for later this year. This advancement highlights Lockheed Martin’s commitment to 21st-century security, driving technologies that provide speed, agility and mission solutions.
Lockheed Martin: Weapons Systems Integrator and Cutting-Edge Technology
Lockheed Martin, as a proven weapons systems integrator, has focused its efforts on demonstrating the maturity of its directed energy technology. In addition, it has increased its production capacity to build large-scale laser weapon systems.
This milestone in the HELSI initiative reinforces Lockheed Martin’s commitment to developing advanced technologies that bring speed and agility to joint operations in all domains. The 500 kW laser will be tactically configured using Lockheed Martin’s combined spectral beam architecture.
With more than 40 years of experience in electromagnetic energy research, design, development and harvesting, Lockheed Martin is prepared to meet the security challenges of the 21st century with innovative and powerful solutions.