back to article US Navy gives Lockheed Martin $150m big frickin' laser cannon contract

Lockheed Martin, makers of the F-35 and various other bits of defence hardware, has been handed a $150m contract by the US Navy to build two bloody great laser cannons. The laser weapons will be delivered along with a long-range intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance "capability" and are specified to be capable of …

  1. Mark 85

    $150 million? That should just about cover some paperwork and salaries for middle and project manglement, weekly and monthly reports, upper manglement bonuses, etc. Tooling and actually building the units will require a second, much more expensive contract.

    I used to work in the defense industry decades ago and I've seen how this stuff works. Since that time, it's only got worse as "more paperwork, more management supposedly equals better efficiency and lower costs. Ok.. yeah...sure.

  2. fishman


    "No information was given about sharks accompanying the Lockheed Martin weapons."

    That will be part of the $500M upgrade contract.

    1. Chris G

      Re: Sharks

      Agreed, the sharks are running the company and presenting the bills.

    2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      I heard that

      the scientists involved with the project to produce the requisite giant intelligent sharks resigned en masse after the intern made a particularly inappropriate choice of movie for their monthly video night.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sharks

      The shark mounted units are deferred until phase 2. The initial demonstrator system will employ a simplified sea bass mounting scheme.

  3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    They just can't help themselves, can they ...... and that is a fatal addiction.

    Three cheers for the flash cash cow that just keeps on giving more of the same old nonsense from yore.

    Novel Futures will quickly destroy their shenanigans with Alternative Derivatives.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: They just can't help themselves, can they ...... and that is a fatal addiction.

      In the meantime it keeps them occupied and not invading too many of their neighbours.

  4. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    No information was given about sharks accompanying the Lockheed Martin weapons

    Should have written this at the very beginning of the article. I'm only interested if it involves frickin' sharks.

  5. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Just wondering...

    Will these be effective against Putin's new 'unstoppable' weapons?

    1. Jan 0 Silver badge

      Re: Just wondering...

      I guess you're thinking that a colossal, nuclear powered, supersonic, cruise missile is bigger and, therefore, must be an easier target than a tiny drone.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Just wondering...

      Well, 'star wars' helped persuade the USSR to bankrupt itself trying to keep up, so these lasers might do the same to Putin?

  6. dmacleo

    HELIOS combines three key capabilities, brought together for the first time in one weapon system:

    A high-energy laser system: The high-energy fiber laser will be designed to counter unmanned aerial systems and small boats. The energy and thermal management system will leverage Lockheed Martin experience on Department of Defense programs, and the cooling system will be designed for maximum adaptability onboard ships. In addition, Lockheed Martin will bring decades of shipboard integration experience, reducing risk and increasing reliability.

    A long-range ISR capability: HELIOS sensors will be part of an integrated weapon system, designed to provide decision-makers with maximum access to information. HELIOS data will be available on the Lockheed Martin-led Aegis Combat System.

    A counter-UAS dazzler capability: The HELIOS dazzler will be designed to obscure adversarial UAS-based ISR capabilities.

    IOW the dazzler is a masking/protection/ecm function

    took 10 seconds to find out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And that is a lot of buzzwords that says SFA.

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      The third one is the same as the first one.

      So what's the third thing?

      Also, BINGO!

  7. doug_bostrom

    Lockheed: they have the patent on being rewarded for failure.

  8. elDog

    Displayed on the company's proprietary Aegis warship operating system? Still XP?

    "Exactly how the "high energy fibre laser" cannon will bring intelligence-gathering abilities to naval battles of the future is not specified, though Lockheed says data from the weapon will be displayed on the company's proprietary Aegis warship operating system."

    I believe that many of the boaties that were afloat in the sea were still working with WIndows something - remembering XP (unpatched since 2012).

    Of course all of the sailors are using their (secure) phones with a whole lot more capability for hacking and being hacked than that rusty old Pentium-II.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did you notice?

    "...against drones... at drones... drones... drones... drones... drones..." (exaggerated paraphrasing for clarity)

    They're legally required to not intentionally use "lasers" to blind humans. Except by accident or collateral damage.

    So they drone on about drones. Kinda noticeable if you're aware of the reason why.

  10. TRT Silver badge

    Phased plasma rifle...

    in the 40 watt range?

  11. davidp231

    Will they be attached to as school of ill-tempered, mutated seabass?

  12. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
  13. Crisp

    Now, prepare to witness the firepower

    of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battleship!

  14. Denarius

    what is needed

    is an lightweight passenger aircraft mounted auto-target seeking high power laser to automatically vaporise idiots shining laser pointers at landing aircraft. As for information gathering in military setting, perhaps its spectrographic info on drones components ?

  15. Alister

    The high-energy fiber laser

    Powered by Weetabix?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Glad they are investing in weapons and not peace. Doesn't that sound stupid....

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