DARPA Achieves Laser Testing Success

The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency announced that it recently completed laboratory testing of a single laser module for the High-Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System and that this module successfully demonstrated the ability to achieve high power and beam quality in a package much smaller than current laser systems. Richard Bagnell, the agency’s program manager, called this “a major accomplishment.” HELLADS is envisioned as a 150-kilowatt laser weapon that is 10 times smaller and lighter than current lasers of similar power, enabling its integration onto manned and unmanned aircraft for protection against surface-to-air threats. Program engineers will now build a second laser module and combine it with the first module to generate the 150 kW of power. The goal is to have that done by the end of 2012. (See also Laser Demo Eyed for B-1B from the Daily Report archives.)