IDEX 2023 — Two major American defense firms, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies, have put high energy laser (HEL) technology among their center stage offerings at the international arms expo IDEX 2023 in Abu Dhabi, hoping to catch the eye of potential foreign partners or buyers.
Lockheed’s set up uses three large screens to demonstrate simulations of what they believe their HEL tech will be able to do, while Raytheon has a prototype HEL system itself on display.
Interest in high-energy lasers has risen with the proliferation of asymmetric airborne threats like rockets, mortars and, increasingly, relatively cheap suicide drones. Shooting those threats down with traditional weapons is difficult, expensive, or both. Proponents hope lasers, like the Israeli-developed Iron Beam, can take on the task effectively and at a