MOORESTOWN, N.J. — This year, the U.S. Navy will field the first acquisition program to deploy the High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance, or HELIOS, a laser weapon system with high-energy fiber lasers for permanent fielding by the U.S. Department of Defense.
HELIOS will initially be integrated on a West Coast-based Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer with the Aegis Combat System, but can be adapted to other types of ships and combat systems, says Lockheed Martin, which was awarded the HELIOS contract in 2018.
HELIOS is the first increment of the Surface Navy Laser Weapon System. The initial system features a laser of around 60 kilowatts to counter fast inshore attack craft or unmanned aircraft.
Increment two will boost the laser power to around 300 kilowatts, company business development analyst Kris Biggs said Jan. 13 in a presentation at the Surface Navy Association’s virtual annual conference, although he noted specifications haven’t been released to industry. Increment three will build off HELIOS “with an expected focus on even higher energy laser levels,” Biggs said.
Lockheed Martin completed the Critical Design Review and Navy Factory Qualification Test milestones for the system in 2020.