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GA-EMS and Boeing Team for US Army HELWS Prototype

Programme Will Demonstrate 300kW-class Distributed Gain Laser

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) and Boeing have jointly been awarded a US Army contract to develop and demonstrate a 300kW-class solid state distributed gain high-energy laser weapon system (HELWS).

The high power, compact laser weapon subsystem prototype that GA-EMS will deliver under this contract will produce a lethal output greater than anything fielded to date,” stated Scott Forney, President of GA-EMS. “This technology represents a leap-ahead capability for air and missile defense that is necessary to support the Army’s modernization efforts and defeat next-generation threats in a multi-domain battlespace.

The companies are combining their expertise in directed energy to deliver best-in-class, combat-ready protection for the Army with unmatched speed, performance, safety and affordability. Specifically, the system will leverage GA-EMS’ scalable distributed gain laser technology with Boeing’s beam director and precision acquisition, tracking and pointing software, to provide a complete demonstrator with sophisticated laser and beam control.

Dr Michael Perry, VP for Lasers and Advanced Sensors at GA-EMS, describes the laser as “a packaged version of the seventh generation of our distributed gin design already demonstrated. The laser system employs two Gen 7 laser heads in a very compact and lightweight package. Recent architectural improvements have enabled our single-beam DG lasers to achieve comparable beam quality to fiber lasers in a very simple design, without the need for beam combination.

Our joint offering will leverage proven, deployed technologies to provide an industry-leading solution on an accelerated timeline,” added Cindy Gruensfelder, VP/GM of Boeing’s Missile and Weapon Systems division.

 

A rendering of the HELWS in operation. (Image: GA-EMS)

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Publish date

10/26/2021

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