Boeing has upgraded and delivered the first batch of previously deployed Compact Laser Weapon System (CLWS) units to a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) customer.
The upgrade increased the systems’ maximum beam power and reliability. Boeing expects to complete upgrades on the remaining units and deliver them in the first quarter of 2021.
“The upgraded units will provide warfighters with enhanced protection against larger and more numerous hostile unmanned aircraft systems,” said Kurt Sorenson, Boeing program manager for CLWS. “They will also enable them to defeat threats more quickly and efficiently.”
Boeing’s CLWS is a modular, high energy laser system that provides proven air defense capabilities against unmanned aircraft systems. It is the first ground-based laser approved by the U.S. DoD for use by warfighters. CLWS’ versatile design enables it to be transported and operated by a single warfighter and configured for mobile use on an array of combat vehicles – providing superior flexibility to support readiness in any environment.
According to the company, the system is deployed in theater with a track record of more than 300 drones defeated in dozens of demonstrations, scenarios and environments.
The system continues to prove its combat-readiness for current and prospective DoD customers in an array of exercises. During a recent live fire drill in Yuma, Arizona, DoD trainees successfully defeated 12 out of 12 threats while operating a CLWS unit.
“Operators continue to have great success using the system to acquire, track and defeat hostile targets with minimal training required,” said Sorenson.
Recently, during a Sept. 3 field test of the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS), Boeing’s CLWS successfully defended a force protection convoy against unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) while mounted on a small utility task vehicle (UTV).