BlueHalo Awarded $95.4M SMDC Contract to Advance Directed En
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This news is classified in: Defense Missiles / Rockets Contracts Sensors

May 22, 2024

BlueHalo Awarded $95.4M SMDC Contract to Advance Directed Energy Technology

The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) has awarded BlueHalo a $95.4M contract for advanced Directed Energy (DE) prototype development as part of the Laser technology Research Development and Optimization (LARDO) program through the Aviation & Missile Technology Consortium (AMTC).

This contract enables BlueHalo’s continued work to design and build cutting-edge laser weapon systems for the warfighter–delivering multiple prototypes with increased automation, efficiency, performance, and ruggedization along with improved size, weight, and power (SWAP).

“We are developing tools to win the next war so there is no next war,” said Dr. Vikram Manikonda, BlueHalo Chief Technology Officer, “We are expanding and accelerating BlueHalo’s air defense innovations, not only with Directed Energy technologies but with the diagnostic and surveillance monitoring systems that enable their sustainment, operation, and continuous improvement in the field. Our solutions are interoperable and designed with extreme care for the warfighter, providing the Army with a full system of systems to mature the use of laser weapons to meet our national security demands.”

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Leveraging BlueHalo’s advancements in counter-UAS (C-UAS) technologies and lessons learned through the active deployment of its LOCUST laser systems, BlueHalo will conduct continuous system performance improvement, research and prototyping to advance performance and durability, and increase the lethality of engagements against small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) and similar threats.

“Through the LARDO program, the U.S. Army is investing in the rapid innovation and maturation of our Nation’s laser weapon capabilities,” said Trip Ferguson, BlueHalo Chief Operating Officer, “BlueHalo’s LOCUST laser systems are deployed overseas, providing multi-domain mission success in UAS threat elimination and force protection. We are honored that the U.S. Army continues to trust BlueHalo to deliver superior Directed Energy technologies and air defense innovations.”

The LOCUST system combines precision optical and laser hardware with advanced software, artificial intelligence (AI), and processing to enable and enhance the directed energy “kill chain”, which includes tracking, identifying, and engaging a wide variety of targets with its hard-kill HEL.