MBDA Germany demonstrates laser weapon system
MBDA Germany’s high-energy laser has demonstrated a complete deployment sequence in countering rockets, artillery and mortar shells (C-RAM), moving the programme a step closer to developing a laser weapon system capable of providing air defence. Using 40 kW of laser power, the laser demonstrator successfully acted on airborne targets at a range of over 2,000 m.
For these tests, MBDA Germany’s laser demonstrator was equipped with a new, improved performance, significantly more compact and lighter optical system which was integrated in a transportable container. During the tests, the illumination and effect laser was pre-targeted using a radar (SPEXER 2000) and an IR optronics system (MEOS II) supplied by Cassidian. A multi-stage control system, incorporating an in-house developed image processing system, was used to lock onto the target at close range.
Artillery shell models towed in a wide variety of flight paths at an altitude of 1,000 m served as targets, and function control and monitoring as well as data recording, security technology and visualisation were all set up within a transportable fire control centre and demonstrated together with the laser during the tests.
Peter Heilmeier, market and business development director at MBDA Germany, said: ‘Having already successfully boosted laser power to 40 kW in the first half of this year, we were able to take the next major step on the road toward a high-energy laser weapon system for close-in defence. In so doing, we have further extended our leading role in Europe in the area of laser applications for military use.
Over 50 guests, including representatives from the German Ministry of Defence, the Bundeswehr, the BAAINBw, the European Defence Agency, the Federal Criminal Police Office, the GSG 9 unit of the Federal Police Force and various institutions and businesses, were present to witness the successful results at the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Techology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) WTD 52 test site in Oberjettenberg, Germany.
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