Military Embedded Systems

Boeing, U.S. Army demonstrate HEL MD on military vehicle


September 04, 2014

Boeing, U.S. Army demonstrate HEL MD on military vehicle

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. Boeing and the U.S. Army recently demonstrated the abilities of the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD) in rough maritime conditions at Elgin Air Force Base in Florida.

During the demonstration, the HEL MD used a 10-kilowatt, high-energy laser installed on an Oshkosh tactical military vehicle. The HEL MD was able to successfully target multiple aerial targets during the test. The HEL MD is the first high-energy, mobile, counter rocket, artillery, and mortar (C-RAM) platform to be built by the U.S. Army.

“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,” said Boeing Directed Energy Systems director, Dave DeYoung. “With capabilities like HEL MD, Boeing is demonstrating that directed energy technologies can augment existing kinetic strike weapons and offer a significant reduction in cost per engagement,” continues DeYoung. “With only the cost of diesel fuel, the laser system can fire repeatedly without expending valuable munitions or additional manpower.”

Boeing achieved all performance objectives during the two recent demonstrations in New Mexico and Florida, with HEL MD successfully engaging more than 150 aerial targets, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and 60 mm mortars. The next testing phase will include installing a 50- or 60-kilowatt laser on HEL MD to demonstrate RAM and UAV capability.

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