ATHENA laser weapon system defends UAS threat

FORT SILL, Okla. Lockheed Martin demonstrated their laser weapon system for the U.S. Air Force at a government test range at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where the system engaged and shot down multiple fixed wing and rotary unmanned aerial systems (UAS). The Advanced Test High Energy Asset (ATHENA) operated in a fully-netted engagement environment with a government command and control (C2) system and radar sensor.

Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin.

The radar track was provided to airmen who operated ATHENA via cues from the C2, then ATHENA's beam director slewed, acquired, tracked, and defeated the UAS with a high-energy laser.

Validating this type of full kill-chain performance has been a priority of the Air Force and other branches of the Department of Defense, and it remains a requirement for laser weapons to be effective against UASs on the battlefield.

ATHENA is transportable and can be emplaced anywhere according to need when defending bases and high-value assets.