Skip to main content

Booz Allen Announces Creation of HELworks

HELworks designed to bring Directed Energy and High Energy Laser products to meet the needs of warfighters in the modern battlespace

Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE: BAH) announced today the creation of HELworks, an innovative developer of directed energy and high energy laser (HEL) weapon systems designed to meet the needs of warfighters in the modern battlespace.

Booz Allen has made significant investment in independent research and development projects focused on developing directed energy solutions over the past 5 years, based in the firm’s understanding of Department of Defense (DOD) needs and mission requirements. HELworks leverages Booz Allen’s 25-plus year heritage of directed energy expertise to optimize size, weight, and power (SWaP); deliver enhanced military utility; and provide rapid deployment of first-of-its-kind HEL solutions.

“HELworks is another successful example of Booz Allen’s innovation strategy, technical expertise, and deep mission understanding converging to deliver critical solutions to today’s warfighters,” said Susan Penfield, Booz Allen’s chief technology officer. “HELworks demonstrates our ongoing commitment to meet modern warfighter needs, understand and support their toughest missions, and uncover and validate cutting-edge technologies. We have matured a portfolio of highly relevant directed energy solutions and delivered systems to the warfighter for operational test and evaluation—and the time is right to organizationally align this capability into a structure that will enable continued innovation and system development in a highly focused way.”

Despite growing threats from asymmetric warfare, rocket-assisted munitions, drones, and more, directed energy weapon systems have consistently remained too heavy, too large, and too under-powered for widespread deployment. HELworks will leverage Booz Allen’s strong R&D investment to date with experience gained from initial HEL prototype deliveries to solve these ongoing challenges.

There are initially three products in the HELworks family: HEL MEP, MCHEL, and LightEngine. Each offers favorable SWaP profiles, optimizing target lethality and operational mission relevance.

HEL MEP: The High Energy Laser Mission Equipment Package (HEL MEP) is a conjoined kinetic and non-kinetic weapon system designed for use in Stryker armored vehicles. HEL MEP brings together LightEngine by HELworks; a beam director and weapon fire control/tracking/targeting system by Blue Halo; and the Reconfigurable Integrated-weapons Platform (RIwP®), a kinetic weapons turret by Moog.

MCHEL: The Modular Compact High Energy Laser, or MCHEL (pronounced “Michelle”), is designed for static-on-static ground engagements. MCHEL is a complete HEL system tailored to the precision-strike mission set, equipped for firing times up to 1 minute at up to 12 kw of power. Unique features of this system include a modular configuration that can be moved and assembled by a two-operator team; a transportable solution with rugged cases that fit into relevant vehicles for expeditious movement; and, most fundamentally, the smallest, lightest, and most portable HEL weapon for its use case.

LightEngine: Booz Allen’s breakthrough, low-SWaP LightEngine is a fully integrated and risk-reduced meta-subsystem consisting of power, cooling, lasers, control, and integrated packaging. It supports deep-magazine capability with minimal impact to and demand from the platform itself and can be easily integrated with third-party beam combinations, beam directors, and other components.

Operational MCHEL prototypes have already been designed, developed, field-tested, and delivered, and HELworks is planning to conduct initial field testing of HEL MEP (including its LightEngine subsystem) in the coming months. HELworks is headquartered in Fredericksburg, Virginia, home to a design and development facility that specializes in rapid prototyping and integration of HEL systems. There is a second HELworks facility in Knoxville, Tennessee, a 15,000 square foot, world-class laser weapons integration facility, which features additional spaces dedicated to prototype design, development, test, production, and integration efforts. HELworks personnel represent the best from across industry and bring together the experience of 60 different directed energy programs over the past 35 years.

“HEL weapons will be key to achieving overmatch and defeating emerging threats on the modern battlefield,” said Joe Shepherd, president and CEO of HELworks. “Booz Allen’s significant investment in HEL technology maturation and operational prototypes ensures that HELworks solutions are operationally relevant and producible at scale—ready for use by warfighters, today. We are proud to be on the forefront of innovation and mission-focused leaders in this area.”

Learn more about HELworks and its mission to bring directed energy innovation to address the most pressing operational needs of the nation’s warfighters.

About Booz Allen Hamilton

For more than 100 years, military, government, and business leaders have turned to Booz Allen Hamilton to solve their most complex problems. As a consulting firm with experts in analytics, digital solutions, engineering, and cyber, we help organizations transform. We are a key partner on some of the most innovative programs for governments worldwide and trusted by their most sensitive agencies. We work shoulder-to-shoulder with clients, using a mission-first approach to choose the right strategy and technology to help them realize their vision.

With global headquarters in McLean, Virginia, our firm employs nearly 29,300 people globally as of June 30, 2022, and had revenue of $8.4 billion for the 12 months ended March 31, 2022. To learn more, visit (NYSE: BAH)

About HELworks

HELworks is an innovative developer of high energy laser (HEL) weapon systems that balance the need for power with the need for portability in the modern battlespace. By using modular architectures and optimizing SWaP, HELworks delivers enhanced military and operational utility and brings directed energy where it’s never fit before.

HELworks leverages Booz Allen’s 25-plus year heritage of directed energy expertise as a technology maturation agent, systems integrator, and developer. By approaching directed energy innovation with curiosity, creativity, enthusiasm, and purpose, the HELworks team is fulfilling its mission of addressing warfighters’ most pressing operational needs. HELworks solutions are feasible and achievable—ready to be fielded and operationalized today.

For more information or to contact our experts, visit us online at

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this press release and in comments by our management include “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Examples of forward-looking statements include information concerning HELworks and related matters, prospective performance and opportunities, and any expected benefits, as well as any other statement that does not directly relate to any historical or current fact. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “could,” “should,” “forecasts,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “projects,” “outlook,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential,” “continue,” “preliminary,” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give you no assurance these expectations will prove to have been correct. These forward-looking statements relate to future events or our future financial performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to differ materially from any future results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.

Additional information concerning risks and uncertainties and other factors can be found in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC), including in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on May 20, 2022. All forward looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the foregoing cautionary statements. All such statements speak only as of the date made and, except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.



Data & News supplied by
Stock quotes supplied by Barchart
Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes.
By accessing this page, you agree to the following
Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.