Army laser demonstrator from Boeing destroys targets through fog and windNews
September 09, 2014
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. Boeing an U.S. Army officials demonstrated the capabilities of the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD) in maritime conditions, where they targeted a variety of aerial targets at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
“Under windy, rainy and foggy weather conditions in Florida, these engagements were the most challenging to date with a 10-kilowatt laser on HEL MD,” says Dave DeYoung, Boeing Directed Energy Systems director. Via capabilities like HEL MD, directed energy technologies can augment existing kinetic strike weapons and provide a significant reduction in cost per engagement, he adds. “With only the cost of diesel fuel, the laser system can fire repeatedly without expending valuable munitions or additional manpower,” DeYoung notes.
In the recent Florida demonstrations, HEL MD used a 10-kilowatt, high energy laser installed on an Oshkosh tactical military vehicle. During the two series of demonstrations, the HEL MD engaged more than 150 aerial targets including 60 mm mortars and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The next step will be to install a 50 or 60-kilowatt laser on HEL MD to demonstrate counter RAM and UAV capability.
The demonstrator is the first mobile, high-energy laser, counter rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) platform to be built and demonstrated by the U.S. Army.