Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

The US Army accelerates the development of laser weapons: new machines will destroy drones due to directed energy

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar May28,2024

The US Army accelerates the development of laser weapons: new machines will destroy drones due to directed energy

The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) has awarded BlueHalo a $95.4 million contract to develop advanced directed energy prototypes as part of the Laser Technology Research and Development Program (LARDO) through the Aerospace and Missile Technology Consortium.

LARDO program (Laser Technology Research and Advancement Program) — is a research initiative supported by the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC). The main goal — promote innovation and development of directed energy technologies, including laser weapon systems. The program aims to create advanced prototypes that enhance defense capabilities by integrating advanced technologies for automation while optimizing the size, weight and power of the systems. LARDO plays a critical role in improving national security by developing more effective and reliable combat and missile defense systems, taking into account continuous feedback and technological progress.

This contract allows BlueHalo to continue its work to design and build state-of-the-art laser weapon systems for the warfighter, delivering multiple prototypes with improved automation, efficiency, performance and durability, as well as improved size, weight and power.

Dr. Vikram Manikonda, Chief Technical Officer of BlueHalo, stated that BlueHalo is innovating in air defense, not only with Directed Energy technologies, but also with diagnostic and surveillance and control systems that ensure their maintenance, operation and continuous improvement in the field. The proposed solutions are interoperable and carefully designed for the warfighter, providing the military with a comprehensive system for developing the use of laser weapons in accordance with national security requirements.

Leveraging BlueHalo's advances in counter-unmanned aerial systems (C-UAS) technologies and lessons learned from the active deployment of its LOCUST laser systems, BlueHalo will lead continuous system performance improvement, research and prototyping to improve performance and durability, and improve the lethality of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) and similar threats.

BlueHalo's LOCUST laser systems are being deployed overseas, ensuring the success of multi-domain UAV countermeasures and force protection missions. The LOCUST system combines precision optical and laser equipment with advanced software, artificial intelligence (AI) and processing to activate and enhance the "kill chain" of directed energy, which includes tracking, identification and engagement of a wide range of targets.

BlueHalo not only manufactures anti-drone weapon systems, but also develops space communication technologies and electronic warfare solutions. In recent years, BlueHalo has opened an artificial intelligence division and aims to establish itself in the field of cyber security, offering AI-based solutions for rapid and automatic analysis and response to cyber attacks. In addition, BlueHalo integrates artificial intelligence into the development and improvement of its products to ensure the necessary resistance to 21st century conflicts.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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