Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Navy moved one step closer to integrating a laser weapon system onto an Arleigh Burke destroyer after successfully conducting a Critical Design Review (CDR) for the High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance (HELIOS) system.
«Our adversaries are rapidly developing sophisticated weapons and the threats to the U.S. Navy’s fleet are getting more challenging», said Hamid Salim, vice president, Advanced Product Solutions at Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems. «Our warfighters need this capability and capacity now to effectively counter threats such as unmanned aerial systems and fast attack vessels».
This year, HELIOS will undergo system integration in Moorestown, New Jersey – the home of Aegis Combat System development for 50 years. The HELIOS system will then be tested at the Wallops Island Navy land-based test site which will significantly reduce program risk before being delivered to a shipyard for integration into an Arleigh Burke destroyer next year. In addition to being built into the ship’s structure, HELIOS will become an integrated component of the ship’s Aegis combat system.
«HELIOS will provide an additional layer of protection for the fleet – deep magazine, low cost per kill, speed of light delivery, and precision response. Additional HELIOS systems will accelerate the warfighter learning curve, provide risk reduction for future laser weapon system increments and provide a stronger demand signal to the supply base», said Brendan Scanlon, HELIOS program director, Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems.
Lockheed Martin has more than 40 years of experience developing laser weapon systems. HELIOS leverages technology building blocks from internal research and development projects that continue to advance the U.S. Navy’s goal to field laser weapon systems aboard surface ships.