The U.S. Navy has received HELIOS seaborne defensive laser weapon system for testing aboard an unmanned guided missile destroyer assigned to the Pacific Fleet.
High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance, or HELIOS, is a laser weapon system with high-energy fiber lasers developed by Lockheed Martin.
This will be the only deployed laser system integrated into an operational Flight IIA DDG.
The test follows the Lockheed Martin and Navy’s recent demonstration of full laser power in excess of the 60 kW requirement. The scalable laser design architecture spectrally combines multiple kilowatt fiber lasers to attain high beam quality at various power levels.
Lockheed Martin completed the Critical Design Review and Navy Factory Qualification Test milestones in 2020.
The weapon is designed to burn small speed boats and drones with high-energy laser beam. It can also “dazzle” an unmanned aircraft’s electro-optical sensors, damaging them and preventing them from performing their missions. The system can be used as an alternative to firing missiles or other projectiles at enemy craft, and can theoretically fire an unlimited number of laser blasts at targets.