French Defense supports HELMA-P laser anti-drone system
The French Defense Innovation Agency (AID, Agence de l’innovation de défense) is supporting the HELMA-P anti-drone fight innovation acceleration project, led by CILAS. The HELMA-P anti-drone laser system benefits from testing campaigns and demonstrations on the Landes site of the General Directorate of Armament (DGA) Missile Tests. The results already showed promising from the first week of testing.
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HELMA-P is a versatile laser weapon system allowing neutralization of drones or optronics, which can eventually evolve to the neutralization of rocket, artillery and mortar (Picture source: CILAS)
In recent years, we have noted the risingt of the drone threat for intelligence or explosives attacks. This threat remains a complex issue to deal with, due to the diversity and proliferation of low-cost drones and their growing autonomy, which makes them immune to interference. All operational levels are affected and the need for a mobile defense system allowing rapid engagement is evident. Installed on a land vehicle, this system could also participate in the protection of convoys and tactical units. The goal with HELMA-P is to have a versatile laser weapon system, allowing the neutralization of drones or optronics, which can eventually evolve to the neutralization of rocket, artillery and mortar.
First experiments with the HELMA-P system from CILAS
As part of the innovation acceleration project for anti-drone warfare, led by the innovation defense lab, laser weapon tests were conducted for the first time at DGA Missile Trials in week 42. This The test week is the first of the five weeks scheduled between 2020 and 2021. The HELMA-P system, installed on a tripod, was tested in real operational conditions. The results were promising from the first week, in particular because of the neutralization time which turned out to be very short. Several shots towards the ground (top-down) were carried out at a distance of up to 1 km on various models of drones. They made it possible to demonstrate a good efficiency of the HELMA-P system, with the destruction in flight of several drones.
Installed on a land vehicle, HELMA-P could participate in the protection of convoys and tactical units (Picture source: CILAS)
The coming weeks of testing will make it possible to evaluate the effectiveness of the system on new models of drones, but also with the realization of shots on drones operating at several hundred meters of altitude.
This test campaign not only makes it possible to test the operational impact of the HELMA-P system, but also paves the way for testing procedures for power lasers.
HELMA-P is a compact laser anti-drone system, easy to deploy or to install on a vehicle (Picture source: DGA)