Defense

December 20, 2013

Army tests vehicle-mounted laser against multiple threats

The Army’s High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator successfully engaged 90 mortars and several Unmanned Aerial Vehicles during tests over the past month, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.

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, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.

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, according to officials of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command. They said a surrogate radar, the Enhanced Multi Mode Radar, supported the engagement by queuing the laser.

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, known as UAVs, and cruise missiles.

Mortars travel at low velocities for short ranges in high-arching trajectories. These weapons, as well as UAVs, are representative of the threat encountered by U.S. and allied forces on the battlefield, officials said.

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, officials said. The 50-kW laser is scheduled to be upgraded to a 100-kW class laser in subsequent demonstrations, they added.

The supporting thermal and power subsystems will also be upgraded to support the increasingly powerful solid-state lasers, according to USASMDC/ARSTRAT officials. They said these upgrades will increase the effective range of the laser or decrease required lase time on target.

Boeing is the prime contractor for the HEL MD program.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Navy photograph

Triton has first cross-country flight from Palmdale

Northrop Grumman photograph The MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System takes off from Northrop Grummanís Palmdale, Calif., facility Sept. 17 for its first cross-country flight to Naval Air Station Patuxent, River, Md. PALMDALE,...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic

Future of NATO: Adapting to a new security environment

Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic Gen. Phillip Breedlove informs the assembled crowd about the results of the recent NATO Summit and the areas of instability that affect Europe that have regional implications. Seated in...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

AFRL commander describes Air Force’s technology vision

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello takes a question from an audience member after discussing Air Force Research Laboratory breakthrough technologies during the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air ...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Timothy Young

F-35 on time to deliver global security, Air Force official said

Air Force photograph by SrA. Timothy Young An F-35A Lightning II, assigned to 59th Test and Evaluation Squadron, takes flight July 18, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Work leading up the completion of the multinational F-3...
 
 
Navy photograph

Navy’s Triton unmanned aircraft completes first cross-country flight

Navy photograph The Navy’s unmanned MQ-4C Triton prepares to land at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., Sept. 18 after completing an approximately 11-hour flight from Northrop Grumman’s California facility.   The M...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Christopher Ruano

F-16 collision-avoidance system could save lives

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Christopher Ruano The Air Force Research Laboratory Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System will automatically take over an aircraft’s flight controls if a crash is imminent. The technolo...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>