BlueHalo has delivered its LOCUST system to be integrated into the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO)’s Palletized High Energy Laser (P-HEL) system.
RCCTO established the P-HEL program in support of the Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office (JCO) to address the growing threat of small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) by developing this counter-sUAS (C-sUAS) prototype.
The JCO intends to evaluate the P-HEL in an operationally relevant environment this spring at Yuma Proving Grounds (YPG), to be followed by possible deployment of the system overseas for further evaluation and operational use.
The delivered LOCUST system performed well as part of the integrated P-HEL C-UAS system during a recent risk reduction field event, tracking, engaging and defeating several UAS targets.
BlueHalo was chosen to deliver its LOCUST system due to its long corporate heritage in laser weapons and tracking systems, and also due to recent demonstrated performance of the value of lasers during the Directed Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (DE M-SHORAD) Combat Shoot-Off (CSO) in July 2021. The system combines precision optical and laser hardware with advanced software, algorithms and processing to enable and enhance the directed energy ‘kill chain’, which includes tracking, identifying and engaging a wide variety of targets with its hard-kill HEL.
“BlueHalo’s mature LOCUST system provides proven ‘laser quality’ precision electro-optic/infrared, pointing, tracking, identification, and hard-kill against a wide variety of Unmanned Aerial Systems,” said Jonathan Moneymaker, BlueHalo’s Chief Executive Officer. “Even more impressive is the fact that it does this while also serving as a highly capable Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance data collection and discrimination asset.”
BlueHalo is actively building multiple LOCUST products and is positioning to meet future demands in quantity.
“Our laser weapon is a key part of BlueHalo’s LOCUST family of products that leverage decades of experience on a wide variety of Directed Energy Weapon programs, dating back to the Airborne Laser, Airborne Tactical Laser, and High Energy Laser Mobile demonstrator, culminated by our investments in the laser weapon system,” added Dan Gillings, BlueHalo Sector President. “We are thrilled that our team is participating in the P-HEL program.”