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MZA Associates to develop C-UAS laser solution
MZA Associates has been awarded a contract for the development of a Counter Uncrewed Aerial System (C-UAS) High Energy Laser Weapon System (HELWS).
The contract is part of the Navy and Marine Corps Science & Technology’s Long Range Broad Agency Announcement and is valued at around $18.7 million.
Work is expected to be completed by August 2023, with a potential completion date of 2025 if all options are exercised.
MZA Associates will develop the C-UAS HELWS from the design stage to the demonstration of a compact, portable, low-cost and reliable product.
The C-UAS HELWS is being developed to destroy hostile UAS using an alternative method to the traditional use of kinetic force.
The system uses pure energy to detect, identify and instantly take down UAS, and can target a single drone with precision.
It offers many advantages over other forms of C-UAS, however, there are significant challenges such as power and cooling issues.
David Stoudt, executive advisor at Booz Allen Hamilton, compared a HELWS to a blowtorch ‘You wave a blow torch by a pipe you will have little or no effect and similarly you have to get a laser on a point and hold it there for a dwell time to deposit sufficient energy’.
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