The US Navy is going to equip to2021, one of their ships with powerful laser weapons. The installation, dubbed High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance (HELIOS), as reported by Popular Mechanics, is a defensive system designed to destroy small swimmers and unmanned aerial vehicles. According to available information, HELIOS are going to be installed on one of the destroyers that will serve in the Pacific.
Order to create a laser complex HELIOS NavyUnited States placed in January of this year. The contract, signed with the developer Lockheed Martin, cost the military department $ 150 million. Within its framework, the delivery of two systems is expected. As indicated in the press release of a private company, one of them will go to the test site of New Mexico for testing. Another complex is going to be installed on a destroyer of the Arly Burke type.
"The HELIOS project is the first of its kind, becauseIt combines laser weapons, the ability to operational intelligence over long distances, as well as the ability to resist unmanned aerial vehicles. All this greatly improves situational awareness and protection of US Navy ships. We are very proud that the Pentagon entrusted Lockheed Martin to create such weapons systems, ”the American military-industrial corporation noted at the time of signing the contract.
HELIOS is a 60-kilowatt combatnew type of laser system. It has almost twice the power compared to systems that have been tested by the US Navy before. For example, the same complex Laser Weapon System (LaWS), which in 2014 was installed on the destroyer USS Ponce. Recall that the power installation LaWS is 30 kW. At that time it was believed that it would be quite sufficient to defeat boats and UAVs.
Laser gun LaWS
During the earlier tests, LaWS was able todestroy unmanned aerial vehicle. The wing of the UAV almost instantly heated up, and then collapsed. The captain of the ship USS Ponce Christopher Wells, on board which the tests were carried out, said that the laser gun works "more precisely than a bullet." He called it a universal weapon that can be used against a variety of purposes.
According to experts, the power of HELIOS will beit is enough not only to destroy very small targets, but also to destroy small ships and vessels, which in theory could give the US Navy fundamentally new advantages on the water. However, for a true revolution, weapons must go through all the stages of testing, prove their combat effectiveness in different conditions and become massive.
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