Navy taps MZA Associates to develop portable C-UAS Laser Weapons has reported that Laser weapons experts at MZA Associates Corp. in Albuquerque, N.M., are adding their expertise to U.S. military efforts to develop portable high-energy lasers to damage or destroy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that are violating the airspace of military bases or other sensitive installations.

Officials of the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Arlington, Va., announced an $18.7 million contract awarded to MZA Associates to develop the counter unmanned aerial vehicle (C-UAS) High Energy Laser Weapon System (HELWS). Such a system potentially could enable U.S. Marines on the ground or sailors aboard surface warships to destroy, disable, or discourage potentially hostile UAVs flying too closely to Marine ground units, ships, or forward-deployed bases. MZA Associates specializes in modeling, analysis, design, development, integration, and testing of high-energy laser and advanced optical systems in support of advanced beam-control systems, atmospheric characterization, and optical systems engineering. On this contract MZA Associates will do the work in Albuquerque, N.M., and Dayton, Ohio, and should be finished by August 2023. With options, the project could continue through August 2025.

Thanks to CDR David Place (USN/Ret), davidplace47[at]gmail[dot]com, and Robin E. Alexander, President ATC, alexander technical[at]gmail[dot]com, for their assistance with this report, the background for which appeared in their  # 21 - 22 - 31 AUGUST 2021 edition of the UNMANNED SYSTEMS NEWS (USN).

David distributes the USN, a free, comprehensive newsletter in PDF format every week or two, as well as serial news flashes, from which this NREF news update was sourced. To be included in his distribution, simply send David a subscribe request to davidplace47[at]gmail[dot]com.

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