According to a YouTube video from France’s Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) and a Linkedin post from C-UAS expert Tiago M. Lança, the DGA has ordered a first operational prototype of the HELMA-P anti-drone laser weapon from CILAS, within the framework of the EUR 10 million L2AD contract [Laser for Combating Drones].
The reports say the HELMA-P prototype is expected to be deployed during the 2024 Olympic Games and will be available in two operational versions: on a battlefield platform and a naval vessel. Feasibility tests at sea should also take place this year.
The HELMA-P system comprises a two kilowatt laser, to detect and shoot down, with precision and in a handful of seconds, a hostile drone at a distance of one kilometre.
HELMA-P is being developed in parallel with the French Army’s other kinetic C-UAS programme, the ARLAD project [Adaptation Réactive de Lutte Anti-Drone] which aims to equip an armoured vehicle with a C-UAS radar and an “airbust” capability via a grenade launcher.
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