US Army tested 10 KW truck mounted laser and scaling to 50 kw and then 100 kw for destroying drones and mortars

[Army-technology.com] Boeing has successfully demonstrated the effectiveness of the high-energy laser mobile demonstrator (HEL MD) in maritime conditions during a testing at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, US.

Undertaken in collaboration with the US Army, the demonstration involved a HEL MD that used a 10kW high-energy laser installed on an Oshkosh military vehicle, and successfully engaged more than 150 aerial targets, including 60mm mortars and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Boeing Directed Energy Systems director Dave DeYoung said: “Under windy, rainy and foggy weather conditions in Florida, these engagements were the most challenging to date with a 10kW laser on HEL MD.

Lithium ion batteries power the HEL MD’s laser. Batteries are charged by a 60 kW diesel generator, so if the Army can keep the fuel tank full, they can shoot down incoming threats indefinitely. The system uses a telescope and infrared-based, wide field of view camera to locate and designate targets. Boeing has designed the system to be operated by a driver and an operator with a laptop and an Xbox controller. Putting it on a truck makes the system mobile, and thus much more useful in battle situations.

It only has the cost of diesel fuel. The laser system can fire repeatedly without expending valuable munitions or additional manpower.

The team plans to install a 50kW or 60kW laser on HEL MD to demonstrate counter RAM and UAV capability at the tactically significant power level.

The 50kW or 60kW is scheduled to be upgraded to a 100kW class laser in subsequent demonstrations, while the supporting thermal and power subsystems will also be upgraded to increase the effective range of the laser or decrease the required laser time on target.

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