Raytheon’s HELWS laser anti-drone system tested on NASAMS

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WASHINGTON — Raytheon is testing a high-energy laser system integrated with the NASAMS [National Advanced Air-to-Air Missile System] developed by Norway, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing DefenceTurk.

Photo credit: DefenceTurk

Developed against swarm drones, HELWS demonstrated its ability to destroy 9 drones in a swarm consisting of two groups during the test. According to Raytheon’s statement, testing activities on the HELWS system began with NASAMS on March 31, 2022.

In this context, HELWS performs missions to detect and destroy targets following the data transferred from the NASAMS Command and Control Center. The first real-time exercise between the platforms was completed with the NASAMS system, which processes the data from the electro-optical and infrared sensors on it during the test activity, the commands sent to the HELWS system when the target drone teams were within tactical distance, and the destruction of HELWS objectives. The test activities were carried out under the US Army’s Short-Range Air Defense [DE M-SHORAD] program.

The system, developed in partnership with Norway-based Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace and Raytheon, is conducting research to develop reconnaissance radar, a fire distribution center, and cross-system integration for mid-altitude air defense solutions.

Photo credit: DefenceTurk

The existing NASAMS sensors and the transfer of data received from the command control center, where the data from these sensors are processed, are important from the point of view of increasing the operational capabilities of the HELWS system.

The laser weapon, manufactured by Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a subsidiary of Raytheon, in Texas, USA, is designed to eliminate next-generation threats such as swarm drone attacks on military and civilian targets over land, air, and sea, thanks to its open architecture.

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