US Army selects Lockheed Martin to deliver 300 kW-class IFPC-HEL solid state laser weapon system


Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract to develop and deliver up to four 300 kW-class laser weapon systems to the U.S. Army’s Indirect Fire Protection Capability-High Energy Laser (IFPC-HEL) prototype program. The IFPC-HEL system complements other layered defense components to protect soldiers from stressing threats, unmanned aerial systems, rocket, artillery and mortars, along with rotary and fixed-wing aircraft.
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Lockheed Martin will deliver two 300 kW-class IFPC-HEL prototypes with an option for two additional 300 kW-class units (Image source: Lockheed Martin)


“Winning the IFPC-HEL prototype contract is the result of several years of complex program evolution, strategic investments and partnership with the Army on this program,” said Rick Cordaro, vice president of Lockheed Martin Mission Systems & Weapons. “Our mature directed energy technology enables Lockheed Martin to provide speed, agility, and 21st Century Security solutions to the Army.”

Lockheed Martin will deliver two 300 kW-class IFPC-HEL prototypes with an option for two additional 300 kW-class units.

Since 2019, Lockheed Martin has been integral to the transition from the 100 kW-class science and technology program, the High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstrator (HEL-TVD), to deliver a 300 kW-class IFPC-HEL demonstrator.

In 2020, Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract to develop a compact, ruggedized 300 kW-class laser for the Department of Defense.
In August of 2022, Lockheed Martin delivered the High Energy Laser Scaling Initiative (HELSI) laser for use in the IFPC-HEL demonstrator, which was the most powerful solid-state-directed energy technology delivered at that time.

Despite their promise, high-energy laser weapons face challenges such as power generation, atmospheric interference, and cooling requirements. Nevertheless, ongoing research and development efforts aim to overcome these obstacles, paving the way for a new era of advanced, precise, and cost-effective military capabilities. As technology continues to evolve, high-energy laser weapons are poised to play a vital role in shaping the future of warfare and defense.


Defense News October 2023