Raytheon developing laser weapon technology for Marine Corps ground vehicles

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. Raytheon won an $11 million contract to develop a laser weapon for use on Marine Corps. ground vehicles to defeat low-flying threats such as enemy unmanned aircraft. The work will be done under the Ground Based Air Defense (GBAD) Directed Energy On-the-Move Future Naval Capabilities program -- an Office of Naval Research program.

The program calls for a field demonstration of a Humvee-mounted short-range laser weapon system that has a minimum power output of 25kW and that meets the Marine Corps' size, weight and power requirements.

Raytheon engineers will leverage the company's planar waveguide (PWG) technology to enable high energy lasers. Using a single PWG, the size and shape of a 12 inch ruler, the Raytheon high energy lasers generate sufficient power to effectively engage small aircraft.

"Raytheon's laser solution generates high power output in a small, light-weight rugged package," says Bill Hart, vice president of Raytheon Space Systems. "Our PWG laser architecture is scalable: We can achieve increasingly higher power levels with the same compact design we're using for GBAD."