General Atomics to Power UAV-Based Lasers to Destroy Ballistic Missiles in Boost Phase

Artists concept of General Atomics unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with high-energy laser (HEL) weapon system.

Artists concept of General Atomics unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with high-energy laser (HEL) weapon system.

November 20, 2017 | Source: Military Aerospace Electronics, militaryaerospace.com, 7 November 2017, John Keller

Power electronics experts at the General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems group in San Diego are joining a project to develop lasers that could lead to a weapon for future unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) able to destroy enemy ballistic missiles in boost phase.

Officials of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in Albuquerque, N.M., announced a $8.9 million contract on Monday to General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems for the first phase of the Low Power Laser Demonstrator (LPLD) project.

The LPLD project is to develop enabling technologies in preparation for developing and testing a future high-energy laser weapon for a high-altitude UAV that will seek to destroy enemy ballistic missiles in the boost phase.