Dec 13, 2013
US Army tests vehicle-mounted laser against multiple targets
The Army used a vehicle-mounted high-energy laser for the first time to successfully engage more than 90 mortar rounds and several unmanned aerial vehicles in flight.
The Army High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator, or HEL MD, underwent multiple test events between Nov. 18 and Dec. 10.
This was the first full-up demonstration of the HEL MD in the configuration that included the laser and beam director mounted in the vehicle.
The HEL MD is being developed to show directed-energy force-protection capabilities against rockets, artillery and mortars, known as RAM. It is also intended to protect against unmanned aerial vehicles.
Initial system effectiveness was proven through low- and medium-power test demonstration that took place in 2011. High-power testing has now concluded at the High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility on White Sands Missile Range.
The demonstration and testing confirms the capability of a mobile solid-state laser weapon system to counter mortars, UAVs, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensors mounted on the UAVs, officials said.
The recent testing utilized a 10-kilowatt class laser. In the future, a 50-kW class laser will be integrated into the HEL MD platform.
The Boeing Company is the prime contractor for the HEL MD program.