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White Sands counter-drone demo blends laser kill capability with NASAMS

1st April 2022 - 13:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Vehicle-mounted High Energy Laser Weapon System mounted on a Polaris MRZR D4 vehicle. (Photo: Raytheon)

The High Energy Laser Weapon System knocked down nine drones in concert with the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System during a recent C-UAS demonstration at White Sands.

Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S) has paired its High Energy Laser Weapon System (HELWS) with the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) air defence system in a C-UAS demonstration at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

The live-fire demonstration against a ‘drone swarm’ showed how high-energy lasers ‘can augment existing systems to provide [a] wide area of protection’, Raytheon noted in a 31 March statement, adding that the exercise showcased how NASAMS (developed by Kongsberg and the US company) could be augmented with an added layer of interoperability for medium-range air defence.

In all, the HELWS downed nine Group 1 and Group 2 UAVs.

During the live-fire exercise, the high-energy C-UAS system received cues from the NASAMS Fire Distribution Center and used automated target cueing and a ‘full spectrum’ of EO/IR sensors to track, identify and quickly take down UAVs at tactically relevant distances, Raytheon stated.

Annabel Flores, president of EW systems at RI&S, claimed: ‘We’re showing the world that our defensive laser weapons can plug into existing air defences to find and drop drones in the blink of an eye.’

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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