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Boeing to use 10-kilowatt, high-energy laser weapon to counter rockets and mortars

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-Laser weapons experts at the Boeing Co. will continue developing a truck-mounted directed-energy system to improve warfighters' ability to counter rockets, artillery, mortars and unmanned aerial threats under a follow-on contract from the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC).

Boeing mounts 10-kilowatt laser weapon on truck-mounted anti-missile system.
Boeing mounts 10-kilowatt laser weapon on truck-mounted anti-missile system.

Under the high-energy laser mobile demonstrator (HEL MD) phase II high-power testing follow-on contract, Boeing will incorporate a 10-kilowatt, solid-state laser with the HEL MD system. There is an option to subsequently incorporate a more powerful laser. The effort is to reduce the risk for future high-power laser integration.

When completed, the HEL MD will consist of a ruggedized and supportable high-energy laser and subsystems installed on a tactical military vehicle that will be capable of providing area joint force protection to forward operating bases, naval installations, air bases, and other facilities.

The Boeing HEL MD program is applying solid-state laser technology to defend against rockets, artillery, mortars, and unmanned aerial threats. High-power testing moves the directed energy system one step closer to deployment.

HEL MD is a joint development effort involving Boeing and the Army. This follow-on contract will support development and testing for the next three years. The team will conduct field tests of the HEL MD system using the high-power, solid-state laser during the next year. These tests will demonstrate the system's ability to acquire, track, damage, and defeat threat-representative targets.

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