Ground-based laser defense system tested against UAS, rockets by Lockheed Martin
SUNNYVALE, CA. Lockheed Martin has successfully tested and demonstrated the Area Defense Anti-Munitions (ADAM) system, a portable ground-based laser system designed as a countermeasure against short-range airborne threats such as Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) and rockets. The testing, which began at a simulated flight range in August, saw the ADAM military laser system successfully engage an in-flight UAS target at an approximate range of 1.5 km and destroy four small-caliber rocket targets at an approximate range of 1.2 km.
ADAM is intended as a short-range defense system for areas of high value, and is capable of target tracking in diffuse optical environments at up to 5 km. ADAM’s 10 kw fiber laser can successfully engage targets at ranges of up to 2 km, and integrated flexibility allows the platform to combat rockets as a standalone system or be coupled with an external radar cue for engaging UASs.
Doug Graham, VP of Advanced Programs for Strategic and Missile Defense Systems at Lockheed Martin, said “Lockheed Martin has invested in the development of the ADAM system because of the enormous potential effectiveness of high-energy lasers.”
The system’s modular architecture leverages Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) hardware components and Lockheed software. Paul Shattuck, Director of Directed Energy Systems for Strategic Missile Defense Systems at Lockheed Martin, commented, “To provide a practical and affordable defense against serious threats to military forces and installations … we combined our proven laser beam control architecture with commercial hardware to create a capable, integrated laser weapon system.”