System downs multiple drones in U.S. Air Force exercise

April 30, 2019  - By
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Speed-of-light technologies will protect ground troops.

Raytheon's high-energy laser (HEL). (iPhoto: Raytheon)

Raytheon’s high-energy laser (HEL). (iPhoto: Raytheon)

Raytheon Company‘s advanced high-power microwave and mobile high-energy laser systems engaged and defeated multiple unmanned aerial system targets during a U.S. Air Force demonstration. The mature HPM and HEL technologies offer an affordable solution to the growing UAS threat, the company said.

Raytheon made the announcement at AUVSI Xponential, taking place this week in Chicago.

Raytheon’s mobile high energy laser looks out into a wide-open sky. The company’s advanced high-power microwave and high-energy laser engaged and defeated dozens of unmanned aerial system targets in a recent U.S. Air Force demonstration.

The HEL system, paired with Raytheon’s Multi-Spectral Targeting System, uses invisible beams of light to defeat hostile UASs. Mounted on a Polaris MRZR all-terrain vehicle, the system detects, identifies, tracks and engages drones.

“Countering the drone threat requires diverse solutions,” said Stefan Baur, Raytheon Electronic Warfare Systems vice president. “HEL and HPM give frontline operators options for protecting critical infrastructure, convoys and personnel.”

Raytheon’s HPM uses microwave energy to disrupt drone guidance systems. High-power microwave operators can focus the beam to target and instantly defeat drone swarms. With a consistent power supply, an HPM system can provide virtually unlimited protection.

“After decades of research and investment, we believe these advanced directed energy applications will soon be ready for the battlefield to help protect people, assets and infrastructure,” said Thomas Bussing, Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems vice president.

Raytheon’s HEL and HPM were the only directed energy systems that participated in this Air Force experimentation demonstration. The event expanded on previous directed energy demonstrations such as a U.S. Army directed energy exercise held in 2017.

About the Author:


Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006, and also is editor of GPS World’s sister website, Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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