CONTENT PREVIEW
Naval Weapons

Surface Navy 2020: Boeing promotes its Compact Laser Weapon System for US Navy use

16 January 2020
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Key Points

  • Boeing is offering its Compact Laser Weapon System to the US Navy
  • The weapon comes in both 2 and 5 kW configurations

Boeing is promoting its Compact Laser Weapon System (CLWS) at the 2020 National Surface Navy Association Symposium as an option for the US Navy (USN) to perform counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (C-UAV) missions against the smaller Group 1 and 2 aircraft around ports or other areas.

Ron Dauk, Boeing laser and electro-optical (EO) systems programme manager, told Jane's on 14 January that the CLWS is uniquely designed to address the very prevalent low, slow, and small UAV threat against quadcopters and equivalent aircraft. The CLWS comes in both 2 and 5 kW configurations and Dauk said Boeing has successfully engaged in both configurations with various customers at multiple field tests.

A full-scale model of Boeing's Compact Laser Weapon System (CLWS) on display at the 2020 National Surface Navy Association Symposium on 15 January 2020. (Jane's/Pat Host)A full-scale model of Boeing's Compact Laser Weapon System (CLWS) on display at the 2020 National Surface Navy Association Symposium on 15 January 2020. (Jane's/Pat Host)

Boeing and several other companies in October participated in a US Air Force (USAF) and US Army Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation (SDPE) and Maneuver and Fires Integrated Experiment (MFIX) demonstration event at Fort Sill in Oklahoma.

Boeing used its 5 kW CLWS to perform several demonstrations of its capabilities. Test operators used handheld, game-style controllers to acquire, track, and disable small UAVs in flight. With the CLWS in a fixed-site configuration on a standard shipping container, the first-time system operators successfully defeated about 30 targets, according to a company statement.

Jane's had previously reported in August that Boeing would be eligible for an award after participating in the SDPE MFIX event at Fort Sill in October. Dauk said Boeing did not receive an award but believed that no other company did either. Nevertheless, he said he was hopeful that Boeing is still eligible for an award and that he looked forward to hearing from the USAF. The USAF did not return a request for comment prior to publication.

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