Raytheon Co.’s sprawling El Segundo operation has been awarded an $11 million U.S. Marine Corps contract to develop laser weapons for military vehicles.

The goal is to create a vehicle-mounted, high-energy laser device capable of defeating low-flying threats such as enemy drones.

“Raytheon’s laser solution generates high power output in a small, light-weight rugged package ideally suited for mobile platforms,” Bill Hart, vice president of Raytheon Space Systems, said in a statement.

Raytheon said its patented technology can engage aircraft with lasers the size and shape of a standard 12-inch ruler.

The effort will be overseen by the Office of Naval Research.