The Navy has awarded MZA Associates Corp. with an $18.6 million contract for a counter unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) High Energy Laser Weapon System (HELWS), the Pentagon said on Wednesday. 

The system will need to be portable, compact, and low cost. It will also need to use available commercial components. MZA will design, develop, deliver, integrate, and test this system as part of the contract. This system is expected to be delivered by Aug. 17 2023 but work could extend through 2025. MZA will receive over $9 million at the time of the award for development, testing, and evaluation for fiscal 2020 research. 

MZA operates out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and specializes in the development of advanced optical and control systems for HELWS, according to the company’s website. 

The contract was awarded under the Long Range Broad Agency Announcement for Navy and Marine Corps Science and Technology.