Raytheon and Texas A&M establish laser weapon test site

Raytheon recently conducted an open-air test of an operational 15kW high energy laser (HEL) weapon system at the George H W Bush Combat Development Complex (BCDC) at Texas A&M University – the first such test in Texas, establishing a new capability to advance critical defence technologies. The system is due to be shipped to the United Kingdom later this month for final integration and delivery to the UK MoD customer.

“We see drone attacks having an out-sized impact in combat zones and even civilian settings, and they are extremely difficult to detect and defeat,” said Michael Hofle, Senior Director of High Energy Lasers at Raytheon. “That’s why we’re making Texas a hub for solving these challenges, side-by-side with the Bush Combat Development Complex. Our combat-ready laser weapons are a cheat code against drones. So, having the ability to test our systems in our own backyard is a game changer for getting this technology into the hands of uniformed personnel quickly and affordably”.

The Raytheon test is an example of how the BCDC will help various customers accelerate innovative R&D impacting national security. The complex’s labs offer a wide array of capabilities for collaboration between stakeholders in industry, academia and government. The organisation will establish a more formal relationship with Raytheon over the coming months.

For more information: www.rtx.com/HEL and https://bcdc.tamus.edu

(Image: A Raytheon engineer prepares the 15-kW HEL for test at the Texas A&M-Rellis campus in September. Credit: Texas A&M University)

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