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Raytheon announces military contract for vehicle-carried laser weapon

A vehicle-carried laser weapon to defeat low-flying threats such as drones is to be developed by Raytheon.
By Richard Tomkins   |   Aug. 13, 2014 at 2:10 PM   |   Comments

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EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Raytheon is to develop a vehicle-based laser system for U.S. Marine Corps testing under an Office of Naval Research program.

The contract for the Ground Based Air Defense device -- capable of defeating low-flying aircraft such as drones -- is worth $11 million.

Raytheon said it will use its planar waveguide, or PWG, technology for the short-range weapon, which will have a 25kW minimum power output. Using a single PWG, the size and shape of a 12 inch ruler, Raytheon high-energy lasers generate sufficient power to effectively engage small aircraft.

"Raytheon's laser solution generates high power output in a small, light-weight rugged package ideally suited for mobile platforms," said Bill Hart, vice president of Raytheon Space Systems.

"Our PWG laser architecture is scalable: We can achieve increasingly higher power levels with the same compact design we're using for GBAD."

Raytheon said the laser weapon would be mounted on a Humvee for testing. No timeframe for the contract was provided.

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