Rafael developed Iron Dome to provide a dual-role system which could be used for C-RAM and very-short-range air defence. Since 2011, Iron Dome has served as the lowest layer of the multi-layered Israeli air and missile defence network.
MBDA Germany’s 40 kW laser successfully tested
MBDA Germany has achieved a power of 40 kW using its high-energy laser demonstrator during a laser firing campaign. This was the first successful demonstration of laser power generated by patented beam coupling of fibre lasers worldwide.
The target tracking and firing tests demonstrated performance features such as the burning of mortar shells in just a few seconds. The laser with a power of 40 kW also pierced 40 mm thick steel plates in a few seconds. Target tracking runs that were demonstrated in previous trials were also successfully repeated.
According to MBDA Germany, the tests ‘demonstrated the good beam quality of the lasers used and the precise and low-loss merging of the individual beams’; the company said this is the only way to ensure that targets are neutralised rapidly and reliably.
Peter Heilmeier, head of market and business development, MBDA Germany, said: ‘High-power laser weapons can soon provide an answer to conventional and asymmetric threats in military missions. They can contribute greatly to protecting our troops. Laser weapons are characterised by precision at long ranges, minimum operating costs and the avoidance of collateral damage’.
MBDA Germany is building on a series of successful tests begun in 2008. In 2011, MBDA Germany was the first company in Europe to achieve a power of 10 kW with a good laser beam quality. The tracking of dynamic objects and the effects on the object were demonstrated over a distance of more than 2,300 m and an altitude difference of 1,000 m in real environmental conditions.
The company will carry out further tests in September and October 2012, where the entire combat process from detection to neutralisation of a flying target will be tested for the first time.
The further development of the laser demonstrator is being financed using the company’s own funds and, in part, by the German Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB) with their research and technology resources.
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