According to Reuters, France’s Directorate General of Armaments on July 7 successfully demonstrated a laser counter-UAS weapon that the defence ministry hopes to see fully operational during the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Designed by the French company Cilas with public funds, the new anti-drone laser system called HELMA-P will secure the bases of the French army in external operations, “but also sensitive sites in France, such as nuclear power plants, or still large public gatherings,” said the report.
CILAS reported the first tests of the HELMA-P laser effector developed in collaboration with the ArianeGroup successfully took place in October 2020
“The French Defense Innovation Agency (AID) and the French defence procurement agency (DGA) supported CILAS in operating the system at the Biscarrosse Centre d’Essais des Landes,” says the company. “HELMA-P convinced from the very first shots with its precision, efficiency and ability to neutralize in-flight targets up to one kilometer away in a matter of seconds. All firings systematically destroyed UAVs capable of speeds above 50 km/h and in difficult target tracking conditions. HELMA-P provides operational units and internal security forces with a new weapon with a technological breakthrough. Effective at greater distances and providing a radical effect, HELMA-P can support other anti-UAV technologies. HELMA-P is therefore the ultimate neutralization solution.
“These first tests at Biscarrosse are a success and must be continued in order to fully characterize the performance of the effector, particularly in terms of range and according to different operational scenarios.”
According to Reuters, the ministry has also launched a call for tenders for the development of an electromagnetic wave cannon and drones. interceptors whose first tests could take place at the end of 2022.
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Success of the first HELMA-P laser firings on UAVs in flight