The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has received government permission to field test its HELLADS laser weapon system. High-Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS) has been in development since 2003. It is intended for use as a protection system for aircraft.
Enemy surface-to-air threats to manned and unmanned aircraft have become increasingly sophisticated, DARPA states on its website. High power lasers can provide a solution to this challenge, as they harness the speed and power of light to counter multiple threats. Laser weapon systems provide additional capability for offensive missions as well”adding precise targeting with low probability of collateral damage. The goal of the HELLADS project is to build a laser with 150 kilowatts of power, weighing under 750 kilograms, and with a size less than 3 cubic meters.