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NP Aerospace Progresses Raytheon Air Defence Integration on Wolfhound

NP Aerospace has announced it is one of the key partners on the UK MOD’s Laser Directed Energy Weapon Land Demonstrator programme working with Raytheon UK to progress integration of Raytheon’s High-Energy Laser Weapon System (HELWS) onto the Wolfhound vehicle.

Raytheon UK recently received its first HELWS unit from the US for testing in the UK. Since then, the vehicle engineering team at NP Aerospace’s Coventry facility have been leading the integration work, with mobility trials scheduled for later this year.

Wolfhound is one of the UK MOD’s protected mobility fleet managed by NP Aerospace. It was selected for integration due to its class leading capabilities and offroad performance potential via the new XC mobility architecture upgrade. The 15-kW laser Raytheon HELWS system is the latest product in the UK to look at potential defence against aerial threats such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).  UK MOD who are leading the programme, last month announced the successful firing of a similar system.

David Petheram, Managing Director & Senior Vice President, NP Aerospace Vehicle Systems, Services and Spares, comments: “NP Aerospace is pleased to be supporting the development of the UK’s Short Range Air Defence capability.  As engineering authority for the UK MOD protected mobility fleet, we have in depth knowledge of vehicle platforms and wide range of associated technologies.  The Wolfhound is an extremely capable tactical supply vehicle which now offers an advanced defensive role by being able to easily carry the air defence system in new environments.”

NP Aerospace have been working closely with Raytheon UK to design and develop a wide range of integration hardware and interfaces to enable the HELWS to operate effectively from the Wolfhound platform.

Marcus Kears, Raytheon UK High Energy Laser Programme Manager, said: “Laser-directed energy weapons will play a huge role in the future of defence operations,” adding, “Our partnership with NP Aerospace is helping us to bring this transformative technology to the UK from the US, where our system has defeated more than 400 targets over 25,000 operational hours.”

“This is another important milestone in our collaboration with the MoD on the use of directed energy weapons in the UK. We will continue to work toward the live-fire system acceptance test later this year.”

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