The US Office of Naval Research (ONR) has awarded a USD18.7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to MZA Associates to develop the counter unmanned aerial vehicle (C-UAS) High Energy Laser Weapon System (HELWS), according to a US DoD contract notice.
The Office of Naval Research is supporting development of directed-energy weapons that cause physical damage that degrades, neutralizes, defeats, or destroys enemy capabilities such as UAVs.
MZA engineers will design, develop, deliver, integrate, test, and demonstrate a compact, portable, low-cost and reliable C-UAS HELWS using the latest available commercial components. The contract is due completion in August 2023, with further options to continue until August 2025. Initial research funds for USD9.3 million have been released in the current fiscal year.
MZA Associates specializes in modeling, analysis, design, development, integration, and testing of high-energy laser and advanced optical systems in support of advanced beam-control systems, atmospheric characterization, and optical systems engineering.
The MZA contract award follows earlier contract awards to Raytheon Technologies Corp. Intelligence & Space segment from DoD for the development of deployable counter UAS laser weapons. Raytheon is providing the US Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base with counter-UAV high-energy laser weapons for counter-drone operations under a USD13 million contract awarded in 2019 for the development and in-field evaluation of HELWS technology.
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