The United States army recently showcased how close they are to deployment of laser weapons on their ground-based vehicles fleet. While the Army’s Space and Missile Defence Command (SMDC) was carrying out tests on the same they were able to load a Stryker assault vehicle with a 5kW laser. For this purpose the y worked in association with Army Forces Strategic Command. They tested an upgraded version of the original 2kW, MEHEL armament that was tested last October. The new version of it is known as Mobile Expeditionary High Energy Laser (MEHEL) 2.0 and its first assignment was interception pf a downing signal 20lb dorne.
If a laser weapon needs to shoot down a drone it will need some more power and a more sophisticated radar system that can estimate all potential threats isolate all, and track these and design a suitable kill path. It was one of the biggest challenges to fit a system like that over a moving vehicle out of all the hurdles they had with MEHEL 2.0 test. Adam Aberle from the SMDC High Energy Laser DIvision, adds, “Getting everything integrated on the platform, being able to detect the target with the radar and then engage it with the high energy laser was very successful. We learned the 5kW laser was able to defeat the targets. We were able to verify and show that we could put a radar and a laser on a platform so it could self-cue to targets and that was very successful.”
The concept of laser weapons has been around for more than three decades. It was once a dream which is now all set to turn into a reality. Though, these laser weapons wouldn’t be sinking ballistic missiles any sooner but you can really think of it as a good start.
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