US: Boeing and the US Army have proven the capabilities of the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HELMD) in maritime conditions, successfully targeting a variety of aerial targets at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
“Under windy, rainy and foggy weather conditions in Florida, these engagements were the most challenging to date with a 10-kilowatt laser on HELMD. As proven at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico in 2013 and at Eglin Air Force Base this spring, HELMD is reliable and capable of consistently acquiring, tracking and engaging a variety of targets in different environments, demonstrating the potential military utility of directed energy systems,” said Dave DeYoung, Boeing Directed Energy Systems director. In these recent demonstrations, HEL MD used a 10-kilowatt, high energy laser installed on an Oshkosh tactical military vehicle. The demonstrator is the first mobile, high-energy laser, counter rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) platform to be built and demonstrated by the US Army.
“With capabilities like HELMD, Boeing is demonstrating that directed energy technologies can augment existing kinetic strike weapons and offer a significant reduction in cost per engagement. With only the cost of diesel fuel, the laser system can fire repeatedly without expending valuable munitions or additional manpower,” added DeYoung.