The Navy’s Next Laser Weapon Is Basically a Real-Life Ray Gun
The U.S. Navy just signed a contract for a new portable laser weapon system.
Known as C-UAS HELWS, the service will use the weapon to target drones.
Thanks to new technology, lasers are getting smaller, but the elusive, handheld laser blaster isn’t reality—yet.
The U.S. Office of Naval Research recently ordered a “compact, portable” laser weapon system, according to a Department of Defense contract notice filed in August. In other words, it’s basically funding a real-life ray gun. The Navy will use the weapon, known as the Counter-Unmanned Air Systems High Energy Laser Weapon System (or C-UAS HELWS for short), to shoot down drones.
MZA Associates Corporation, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, will “design, develop, deliver, integrate, test, and demonstrate” C-UAS HELWS with existing commercial components, according to the $18.7 million contract, first spotted by Forbes. Development will take place between Albuquerque and Dayton, Ohio, and should be completed between 2023 and…