Skip to comments.Army's New Laser Weapon Can Shoot Down Mortars and Drones
Posted on 12/22/2013 7:30:54 AM PST by shove_it
The Army has successfully tested a futuristic laser weapon capable of shooting football-sized mortar rounds and unmanned drones out of the sky. The truck-mounted weapon, known as the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD) is still about a decade away from becoming an operational part of the Army's arsenal, but gives a hint at what a weapon of the future could look like.
The Army tested its HEL MD laser at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico for nearly six weeks starting in mid-November. The device was equipped with a 10-kilowatt solid state laser and a radar system mounted atop a heavy truck.
During the tests a "quarter-sized" invisible laser beam successfully targeted and destroyed more than 90 incoming mortar rounds and six to seven unmanned drones. Terry Bauer, the project manager for the laser program, said the test results were "above and beyond" what they had expected going into the testing. "We had no thoughts that this 10-kilowatt would be as successful n doing that as it has been. " ...
So far the Army's laser testing program has cost about $13 million a year since it began in 2011. But over the long term it looks like a good deal as the cost of taking out each mortar round is estimated to be the price of a cup of diesel fuel.
(Excerpt) Read more at gma.yahoo.com ...
Should be an effective riot control tool.Be good on the southern border when equipped with motion and heat sensors.
This seems incredibly inexpensive. Less than an 0bama vacation.
Looks to me like the photographer cut off most of the laser on top.
lets hold up till the POSOTUS is out of office before we give him any new weapons....
As long as they can miniaturize it down to the point they can put those sharks everything is good!
Remember when the Serbs succeeded in shooting down our stealth bomber with a microwave oven during Clinton’s Wag the Dog War on Christians?
Wonder if that would work on drones.....
Am I the only one who thinks that is ridiculously cheap?
The humpable "return to sender" version sounds good.
That ‘Stealth Bomber’ (the F-117) was almost 20 years old when that happened. Notice how the Chinese and Russians still haven’t been able to replicate our technology, even a decade later? Now with drones, stealth tech may not even matter.
And what happens when these lasers are turned on protesting crowds of hungry people because of hyperinflation?
When is a truck that size ever around mortar fire?
If you can get that in close enough to be useful, you can get artillery in to blast the mortar source.
Israel is one of the few practical applications.
There is a lot more to that story than just using “creative” means.
The one thing I’ll say is this; the F117’s mission planning was controlled and authorized by....NATO.
Does it work against hypersonic anti-carrier missiles?
Can they put it on frikkin' sharks' heads?
Put enough energy on anything and it’ll blow
Sarcasm. . .right? One never knows these days. . .
“Does it work against hypersonic anti-carrier missiles?”
Compared to the speed of light,those missiles may as well be standing in one place.
GIVES US THE advantage in Korea-a good place to (re)start a war and END it.
No ... two years, less than $40 million, and they have functioning hardware. That's what a taxpayer wants.
Bet does wonders on human targets
out to the horizon...
“Bet does wonders on human targets
out to the horizon...”
Yea!Just hope that your not on the receiving end.
"You can't use that laser thingy! You'll shoot your eye out. And...It's not fair!"
Much more practical than the multi-container THEL (Tactical high Energy laser) I worked with back in themid-90’s. That required several shifts to hook everything up and calibrate, but was liquid fuel-powered.
Still needs that expensive. THEL Laser was a very large diameter searchlight-like looking aiming device, like on the truck above. Navy was testing a similar beam device. Good thing above a Navy installation is that local atmospheric heating is negligible because the ship is always moving into “clean” cool air, so local air heating around the searchlight doesn’t distort that little-bitty beam. Ya still got to hit the incoming missile/mortar shell.
I wouldn’t call the SAM system that brought that aircraft down a “microwave oven”. That F-117 was shot down with the SA-3 using the below combination of Aquisition, Target Track/Missle Guidance, and Height Finder radars.
P-15 “Flat Face” or P-15M(2) “Squat Eye” 380 kW C-band target acquisition radar (also used by the SA-6 and SA-8, range 60 km.
SNR-125 “Low Blow” 250 kW I/D-band tracking, fire control and guidance radar (range 40 km, second mode 80 km.
PRV-11 “Side Net” E-band height finder (also used by SA-2, SA-4 and SA-5, range 28 km max height 32 km/105,000 ft).
Call this system a “microwave oven” all you want, but it is a very deadly system when operated by a very well trained crew. Unlike the Iraqi crews in both the Gulf War and Iraqi Freedom, this crew knew what the hell they were doing.
Football sized mortars? 5 inches or so? And where were these drone in altitude?
Sounds like a promising technology but hardly a viable product.
Better keep the info away from dims or it will wind up in the hands of our enemies.
” still havent been able to replicate our technology, even a decade later”
Actually, they don’t want to. They know stealth has a limited lifespan due to better sensor technology.
Oh, don’t you mean, technology that doesn’t really work (per Obama)? This is money better spent on muzzie outreach and subsidies for Russian weapons manufacturers.
“Compared to the speed of light”
Compared to servo technology that points the laser they are the speed of light.
FOBs FSBs anywhere we are in a defensive position.
Yes it does seem quite inexpensive doesn’t it?
Maybe it will be deployed alongside CIWS on ships some day?
South Korea should be on the phone any day trying to order a few dozen of them
Perhaps not yet. . but new weapon systems take time and development.
He could have photographed it but then he’d have to kill you.
From what I've read about this laser it's not intended to cause the incoming ordinance to explode. The desired effect is to render it inert.
It seems rather ambitious to me, shooting the whiskers off a flea? Apparently the brass who wrote the specs consider shrapnel falling from airborne detonations is worse than "dud" rounds dropping on your head.
Ahha, the missing piece is revealed when viewed from the other side. Thanks, Joe.
I’ve worked on stuff that wasn’t allowed to be photographed.
Ive photographed stuff that wasnt allowed to be worked on.
So we have something in common.
It’s uncomfortable to think somehow we are preserving the balance of the cosmos.
I love a comprehensive reply from someone who knows the subject!
BTW, have you ever seen a current mortar that fires “football sized” rounds? (~ 7 inches/178mm diameter) WWI and WWII used big mortars, but 120mm is about the largest currently in use.
This subject is my second career. I eat and breath this stuff at work every day and I’m loving every miute of it.
The football sized mortar thing made me laugh. If you are going to report on a weapons program it might help you to do a little research on the damn subject you are about to write an article on. Reporters are lazy idiots for the most part.