The goal of the High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS) program is to develop a high-energy laser weapon system (~150 kilowatt) with an order-of-magnitude reduction in weight compared to existing laser systems.
Enemy surface-to-air threats to manned and unmanned
aircraft have become increasingly sophisticated, creating a need for rapid and
effective response to this growing category of threats. High power lasers can provide a solution to
this challenge, as they harness the speed and power of light to counter
multiple threats. Laser weapon systems
provide additional capability for offensive missions as well—adding precise
targeting with low probability of collateral damage. For consideration as a weapon system on
today’s air assets though, these laser weapon systems must be lighter and more
compact than the state-of-the-art has produced.
The goal of the HELLADS program is to develop a 150
kilowatt (kW) laser weapon system that is ten times smaller and lighter than
current lasers of similar power, enabling integration onto tactical aircraft to
defend against and defeat ground threats. With a weight goal of less than five
kilograms per kilowatt, and volume of three cubic meters for the laser system,
HELLADS seeks to enable high-energy lasers to be integrated onto tactical
aircraft, significantly increasing engagement ranges compared to ground-based
The program has completed laboratory testing of a
fundamental building block for HELLADS, a single laser module that successfully
demonstrated the ability to achieve high power and beam quality from a
significantly lighter and smaller laser.
The program is now in the final development phase where a second laser
module will be built and combined with the first module to generate 150 kW of
Following the final development phase, the plan is for
the laser to be transported to White Sands Missile Range for ground testing
against rockets, mortars, surface-to-air missiles and to conduct simulated
air-to-ground offensive missions.
Dr. Richard Bagnellrichard.email@example.com