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Army Laser Could Take Down Mortar Shells, Missiles

In warfare, defense has usually taken a backseat to offense when it comes to technology; the answer to new weaponry has traditionally been thicker armor. There are missile defense systems, of course, but those systems notoriously take a long time to develop, can be wildly inaccurate, and even when they work they are extremely expensive.

But the U.S. Army has announced the successful test of what could be a better way to defend against drones, mortar shells, and rockets. In early December, the Army used its new High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD) to target and hit 90 mortar rounds and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) using a 10 kW laser. The system is designed to intercept a wide range of targets, including cruise missiles.

Boeing installed the beam control system and other hardware on the Oshkosh Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck, which carries the laser system. The recent tests were conducted at the High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility on the White Sands Missile Range.

Now that the Army knows the targeting system works on moving objects, they plan to test the system with 50 kW and 100 kW lasers.

You can read more about the system here.

Source: Defense Update

About Brian Albright

Brian Albright is a contributing editor to Digital Engineering. Send e-mail about this article to DE-Editors@digitaleng.news.