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Raytheon nabs $13.1M for third anti-drone laser system for testing

The first high energy laser weapon system was delivered to the Air Force for overseas deployment and testing in October.

By
Christen McCurdy
Raytheon's HELWS system can detect and track drones, and then shoot them down. Photo courtesy of Raytheon
Raytheon's HELWS system can detect and track drones, and then shoot them down. Photo courtesy of Raytheon

Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems has been awarded a contract for an additional high energy laser weapons system for testing.

The company was awarded a $13.1 million deal for the Air Force to purchase and test an additional HELWS system, adding a third to be deployed for testing, the Department of Defense announced Thursday.

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The laser system uses a variant of Raytheon's Multi-Spectral Targeting System to detect and track drones, before shooting them down. The system also has intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

In October, Raytheon announced it had delivered the first of the HELWS systems, which it installed on an all-terrain vehicle to test its maneuverability during a year-long overseas deployment.

The new deal is a modification to a $23.8 million August contract to develop two prototype systems, bringing the total procurement for the program to $36.9 million.

The contract awarded Thursday funds testing of the additional laser system at an overseas location to assess its reliability, maintainability and supportability data, as well as system operation against real-world or simulated hostile scenarios.

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