Press Release

Lockheed Martin Chosen as Weapon System Integrator for DARPA Laser Program

By SpaceRef Editor
May 6, 2005
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Lockheed Martin said today it had been selected by General Atomics as weapon system integrator for the High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS).

General Atomics’ Photonics Division is under contract to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop and demonstrate the lightweight, solid-state laser weapon system. As weapon system integrator, Lockheed Martin will support General Atomics in developing and demonstrating this innovative solid-state laser in a weapon system that is capable of being integrated on a range of potential platforms.

“Both the innovation and progress evident on HELLADS to date have been impressive indeed,” said Joanne Maguire, vice president and deputy for Lockheed Martin Space Systems. “We are delighted to be part of the HELLADS team, and we look forward to working with General Atomics and DARPA to realize the revolutionary potential of this weapon system.”

To support the HELLADS program, Lockheed Martin assembled a team led by its Space Systems Company, which partnered with two sister companies, Aeronautics and Missiles and Fire Control. SAIC is also a key member of the Lockheed Martin team.

DARPA’s HELLADS initiative will investigate and validate a new laser design that enables a laser weapon system to achieve an order of magnitude reduction in weight with respect to other high-energy laser system concepts. As currently planned, the HELLADS program will design, fabricate and test a subscale laser device, followed by fabrication and testing of a prototype high-energy laser weapon system. Once key weapon system parameters have been demonstrated, a tactical-scale HELLADS system will be developed and integrated into a surrogate military platform for demonstration of key capabilities.

General Atomics, headquartered in San Diego, specializes in diversified research, development and manufacturing in energy, defense, and other advanced technologies. Its affiliate company, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, builds the Predator and other unmanned aerial vehicle systems, and its Reconnaissance Systems Group builds Lynx synthetic aperture radars. The Photonics Division develops emerging technologies in solid-state lasers, sensors, diffractive optics, and ultra-wide band technologies.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, a major operating unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, designs, develops, tests, manufactures, and operates a variety of advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include a full-range of space launch systems, including heavy-lift capability, ground systems, remote sensing and communications satellites for commercial and government customers, advanced space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin Corporation employs about 130,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2004 sales of $35.5 billion.

CONTACT: Charles Manor, 408-742-3397; email,

SpaceRef staff editor.