Boeing Closing In on Truck-Mounted Laser Weapons for US Military
When last we heard from Boeing about the HEL TD (High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator) program in June 2011, the defense contractor had just finished system integration of key components, including the installation of the beam control system and other hardware on the 8-wheeled, 500-horsepower Oshkosh HEMTT (Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck).
This week, Boeing said that it’s now engaged in the next phase of its contract with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, in which it will install a 10-kilowatt solid-state laser in the system, which has been slightly renamed as HEL MD, for High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator. Field tests will take place in the coming year to let the high-power SSL system show off its dexterity at acquiring, tracking, and defeating “threat-representative” targets.
…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.
(via Boeing trucks ahead with 8-wheeling laser weapon | Cutting Edge - CNET News)