Raytheon Directed Energy Systems Down Multiple Drones in U.S. Air Force Exercise

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 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.

Raytheon HELWS-MRZR Laser Weapon System
Raytheon HELWS-MRZR – a Raytheon High-Energy Laser Weapon System (HELWS) mounted on a Polaris MRZR all-terrain vehicle.

“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.

Raytheon PHASER High Power Microwave (HPM) System
Raytheon PHASER high-powered microwave (HPM) system mounted on a shipping container-like box. (Monica K. Guthrie, PAO, U.S. Army)

“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 Dr. 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.


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