The U.S. Air Force RADBO program deploys critical force protection and mission enabling technology which will greatly increase safe and effective explosive ordnance disposal operations. RADBO is comprised of three primary components: the mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle, interrogation arm assembly, and the Parsons-developed ZEUS™ laser. Parsons’ 25+ years of experience in directed energy ordnance neutralization led to the development of ZEUS™, which is the first ground based Directed Energy Weapon (DEW) system to be approved for production.
RADBO’s integration of the ZEUS™ directed energy system provides precision standoff neutralization of surface mines, unexploded ordnance (UXO), and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). ZEUS™ has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan for area, route clearance missions, and IED neutralization. The system achieves neutralization by focusing a laser on the outer casing of the target munition. This heats the explosive filler until ignition, resulting in rapid combustion or deflagration of the explosive material, thus neutralizing the target munition, independent of the type of fusing used. The resulting low-order explosion minimizes collateral damage and protects explosive ordnance disposal personnel and equipment.
The ZEUS™ system has been designed, developed, fabricated, produced, and tested for any operational theater. It is fully MIL qualified (Hi and Low Temp, EMI, Blowing Sand/ Dust, Rain, Fog, and Road Course) and while deployed completed more than 2,000 miles of travel on deteriorated roads without failure. The system consists of a multi-kilowatt-class laser, beam director, operator’s station, and all support subsystems that are self-contained on a single vehicle.
ZEUS™ has demonstrated integration on both the HMMWV and MRAP platforms and can be integrated on other platforms with the appropriate power and payload capacity. ZEUS™ has demonstrated capability against more than 50 different types of ordnance (landmines, improved conventional munitions, mortar rounds, rifle grenades, rockets, and artillery projectiles), ranging from small, plastic landmines to large, thick-walled 155-millimeter projectiles and 500-pound general-purpose bombs. More than 4,000 ordnance items have been neutralized to date, with an effectiveness rate greater than 99%. The stand-off engagement range of the systems saves lives on the battlefield.
Our capability in this technology area is demonstrated by the development and evolution of ZEUS™, a fifth-generation ordnance neutralization system using a fiber laser. Fiber lasers provide optimum performance, resulting in tactical vehicle portability, high reliability, low power requirements, and affordability.
*Parsons complies with all applicable Trade Compliance regulations. Some of Parsons products may require an authorization from the U.S. Government before they are exported.
Disclaimer: Parsons is a global company operating through various named legal entity subsidiaries. The company’s successful acquisitions have led us to become a leading disruptive technology company in the critical infrastructure, defense, and intelligence markets.