Lockheed Martin ground-based directed energy system takes out rockets, drones


SUNNYVALE, Calif., 27 Nov. 2012. Lockheed Martin [NYSE:LMT] demonstrated, in a series of tests, the Area Defense Anti-Munitions (ADAM) portable, ground-based military laser system’s ability to provide defense against short-range airborne targets, such as rockets and unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

The ADAM system has engaged an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) target in flight at a range of approximately 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) and has destroyed four small-caliber rocket targets in simulated flight at a range of approximately 2 kilometers (1.2 miles).

"Lockheed Martin has invested in the development of the ADAM system because of the enormous potential effectiveness of high-energy lasers," explains Doug Graham, Lockheed Martin's vice president of advanced programs for Strategic and Missile Defense Systems. "We are committed to supporting the transition of directed energy's revolutionary capability to the war fighter."

The system, designed for short-range defense of high-value areas such as forward operating bases, tracks targets in cluttered optical environments and has a tracking range of more than 5 kilometers (3.1 miles). The flexible system can operate against rockets as a standalone system and engage UAS with an external radar cue. The ADAM system's modular architecture combines commercial hardware components with the company's proprietary software.

"Lockheed Martin has applied its expertise as a laser weapon system integrator to provide a practical and affordable defense against serious threats to military forces and installations," says Paul Shattuck, Lockheed Martin's director of directed energy systems for Strategic and Missile Defense Systems. "In developing the ADAM system, we combined our proven laser beam control architecture with commercial hardware to create a capable, integrated laser weapon system."

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