General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has been awarded a contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for development of the complete demonstrator laser weapon system (DLWS).

The demonstrator system represents phase four of DARPA’s high-energy liquid laser defence system (HELLADS) programme.

The company had successfully developed and tested the HELLADS weapon class unit cell under a previous contract.

The DLWS includes a 150KW laser with integrated power and thermal management systems to provide a compact laser weapon system.

The system will be tested during live fire exercises, which are planned throughout 2013, against a variety of targets at the White Sands Missile Range in south central New Mexico, US.