High-Energy Lasers

Raytheon Intelligence & Space’s high-energy laser systems use photons, or particles of light, to carry out military missions and civil defense. This directed energy technology enables detection of threats, tracking during maneuvers, and positive visual identification to defeat a wide range of threats, including Unmanned Aerial Systems, rockets, artillery and mortars.

Raytheon Intelligence & Space’s suite of counter unmanned aircraft system (CUAS) capabilities defend against agile unmanned threats and larger swarms.

Our lasers systems are operational now

In 2019, the U.S. Air Force deployed our first High-Energy Laser Weapon System, HELWS, overseas, and it has more than 10,000 hours of operation. Now certified for use in combat, multiple additional systems are now in theater.  

The right defense for a range of targets

RI&S’ laser weapon systems work on land, in the air and at sea, providing 360-degree coverage that protects bases, airports, stadiums and other high-value military or civilian targets. The system’s open architecture easily adapts to the demands of the mission, while our ruggedized packaging means it can be used as a standalone system or rapidly installed on a variety of military platforms. RI&S has successfully completed full installation and testing on small Army vehicles as well as an Apache attack helicopter.

Cost-effective solution for countering small UAS

With a low cost-per-shot ratio HEL is an affordable and viable option to protect military and critical infrastructure, and rapidly defeat threats. Lasers offer a nearly infinite number of shots, minimal logistics and precision accuracy with very low collateral damage, making it an affordable alternative to traditional munitions.

RI&S High-Energy Lasers


  • Automated cueing to target from a full spectrum of electro-optical/infrared sensors, reducing operator workload and time of engagement.
  • Scalable power level to respond to different threat types and extend reach to tactically relevant ranges.
  • Proven reliability and manufacturing readiness through our family of electro-optical/infrared sensors.


Size, weight and power are optimized to integrate across multiple fixed and mobile platforms, and mission spaces.

Rapid Integration

Readily integrates into Command and Control, or C2, structures via standard Ethernet connection, providing handoffs from other sensors like radars. C2 integration also gives HEL operators updated and precise target information and visual battle damage.


By using readily available, off-the-shelf components, we can configure our system to suit a variety of platforms. Plus, the system can be easily maintained.


Scalable power and open architecture means our HEL products can counter threats from small UAS to rocket, artillery and mortars.

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