Boeing starts the second phase tests of its HEL MD mobile self-propelled laser gun 2110123

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Defense Industry News - Boeing

 
 
Sunday, October 21, 2012, 05:47 PM
 
Boeing starts the second phase tests of its HEL MD mobile self-propelled laser gun.
Boeing Corporation has started the second phase of tests of the prototype of HEL MD mobile laser gun. During the tests, specialists will shoot the 10-kW solid-state laser. The power of the laser can be increased. All tests of the HEL MD laser gun are to be finished within three years. Afterwards, the military will launch the experimental use of the laser gun, CNews reports.
     
Boeing Corporation has started the second phase of tests of the prototype of HEL MD mobile laser gun. During the tests, specialists will shoot the 10-kW solid-state laser. The power of the laser can be increased. All tests of the HEL MD laser gun are to be finished within three years. Afterwards, the military will launch the experimental use of the laser gun, CNews reports.
The Boeing mobile self-propelled laser gun HEL MD is mounted on the chassis of heavy HEMMT truck.
     

For the time being, the laser gun is quite large and has the power of 10 kW (with the required military minimum of 100 kW). However, this power is enough to destroy rockets and artillery shells. There is an opportunity to increase the power to avoid problems with the integration with 100-kilowatt or more powerful guns.

The 10KW capacity of the HEL MD is fairly modest compared with the power levels the Pentagon aims to achieve -- the 100KW level is generally considered the threshold for "weapons-grade" lasers. It is comparable to the 13.3KW that Northrop Grumman achieved earlier this year with its Firestrike demonstrator laser. Boeing said in its announcement this week that the HEL MD could "subsequently" incorporate a more powerful laser.

The self-propelled laser gun HEL MD is mounted on the chassis of heavy HEMMT truck. The gun is designed to intercept guided and unguided missiles, bombs, mortars and unmanned aircraft. The combat laser can also be used against enemy personnel and non-armored vehicles. The HEL MD gun will be used to defend military bases from air and artillery weapons in the first place.

The second phase of high-energy firing will last throughout 2013. Boeing hopes to prove the reliability and efficiency of guidance and power systems of the laser till end of next year.

 

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