Military Embedded Systems

Movable high-energy laser weapon delivered to U.S. Air Force


June 14, 2023

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Image courtesy Raytheon Technologies

ARLINGTON, Va. Raytheon Technologies reports delivery of its fourth combat-ready high-energy laser weapon system to the U.S. Air Force, with the latest system marked as the first mobile, standalone, 10-kilowatt laser weapon to meet U.S. military specifications.

The so-called H4 palletized laser weapon is a 10-kilowatt laser built to U.S. military specifications as a standalone system, which enables it to be moved and mounted wherever needed to protect people and assets against short-range aerial threats. The system -- small enough to fit in the bed of a pickup truck -- is made up of a high-energy laser weapon module, a long-range EO/IR sensor that serves as the beam director, thermal control, internal electrical power, and targeting software. The company says H4 is operated using a laptop and a video game-style controller and can be integrated with existing air defense and command and control systems to provide an additional layer of safety. 

The H4 laser system underwent testing in the fall of 2022 during four days of continuous live-fire exercises at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, demonstrating the weapon’s ability to acquire, target, track, and destroy drone targets in various attack scenarios, including short-range attacks, swarm attacks, and long-range threats.

The palletized laser weapon system was built at Raytheon Technologies’ laser weapon factory in McKinney, Texas and delivered to the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center nine months after the order was received.

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