November 29, 2012
Lockheed Martin has tested a company-developed, high-power laser against airborne targets. The trailer-mounted Area Defense Anti-Munitions (ADAM) system engaged an unmanned aircraft in flight at a range of 1.5 km.
The prototype weapon, which uses a 10-kw. commercial fiber laser, also destroyed four small-caliber rocket targets in simulated flight at about 2 km range, the company says.
Lockheed says it has developed the ADAM system on independent R&D funds to counter close-in threats faced by forward operating bases, such as improvised rockets and unmanned aircraft.
The system, which is installed in a container mounted on a trailer, pairs a commercial laser with Lockheed’s beam-control hardware and software “to provide the performance needed for these types of threats without the cost and time required for full custom development,” the company says.
ADAM is designed to track targets beyond 5 km and destroy them at ranges up to 2 km. The system can track rockets using its own optical sensor and engage unmanned aircraft with an external radar cue.
Lockheed plans to conduct additional testing of the prototype over the next few months.