US Army Increases Development of Laser Weapons with New Contract with Company BlueHalo

US Army Increases Development of Laser Weapons with New Contract with Company BlueHalo

The United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) has awarded BlueHalo a $95.4 million contract for the development of advanced directed energy prototypes as part of the Laser Technology Research and Advancement Program (LARDO) through the Aviation & Missile Technology Consortium.

The LARDO program (Laser Technology Research and Advancement Program) is a research and development initiative supported by the United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC). Its primary goal is to promote innovation and development in directed energy technologies, including laser weapon systems. The program aims to create advanced prototypes that enhance defense capabilities by integrating cutting-edge technologies for automation, efficiency, and robustness, while optimizing the size, weight, and power of the systems. LARDO plays a crucial role in improving national security by developing more effective and reliable systems for combat and missile defense, taking into account ongoing feedback and technological advancements.

This contract enables BlueHalo to continue its work in designing and constructing state-of-the-art laser weapon systems for combatants, providing multiple prototypes with enhanced automation, efficiency, performance, and robustness, as well as improved size, weight, and power (SWAP).

Dr. Vikram Manikonda, Chief Technology Officer of BlueHalo, stated that BlueHalo is developing innovations in air defense, not only with Directed Energy technologies but also with diagnostics and surveillance and control systems that enable their maintenance, operation, and continuous improvement in the field. The proposed solutions are interoperable and meticulously designed for the combatant, providing the military with a comprehensive system of systems to develop the use of laser weapons to meet our national security requirements.

Leveraging BlueHalo’s advancements in Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) technologies and lessons learned from the active deployment of its LOCUST laser systems, BlueHalo will lead continuous system performance improvements, research, and prototyping to enhance performance and durability, and increase the lethality of engagements against small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) and similar threats.

BlueHalo’s LOCUST laser systems are deployed overseas, enabling the success of multi-domain missions in eliminating UAS threats and protecting forces. The LOCUST system combines precision optical and laser hardware with advanced software, artificial intelligence (AI), and processing to activate and enhance the “kill chain” of directed energy, which includes tracking, identifying, and engaging a wide variety of targets.

BlueHalo not only produces anti-drone weapon systems but also develops space communication technologies and electronic warfare solutions. In recent years, BlueHalo has opened an artificial intelligence division and is striving to establish itself in the cybersecurity field by offering AI-based solutions to quickly and automatically analyze and respond to cyber-attacks. Additionally, BlueHalo integrates AI into the development and improvement process of its products to ensure the necessary resilience in 21st-century conflicts.

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