LWI - Land Warfare

MEHEL 2.0 demos C-UAS capability

23rd March 2017 - 11:03 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The US Army has demonstrated the counter-unmanned aircraft system (C-UAS) capability of the Mobile Expeditionary High Energy Laser 2.0 (MEHEL 2.0) during the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization (JIDO) UAS Hard-Kill Challenge at White Sands Missile Range.

The laser, mounted on a Stryker armoured fighting vehicle chassis, is an improved version of the original MEHEL with a laser upgraded from 2kW to 5kW and other C-UAS capabilities added.

The JIDO Hard-Kill Challenge was carried out to assess technology capable of bringing down Group 1 UAS, and inform decision-makers on the current state of technology and how it can deal with single and multiple targets.

The army recognizes that high energy lasers have the potential to be a low-cost, effective complement to kinetic energy to address rocket, artillery and mortar threats; UAS and cruise missiles.

During the challenge, MEHEL engaged small, fixed-wing UAS and quad copters.

Adam Aberle, US Army Space and Missile Defense Command High Energy Laser Division technology development and demonstration lead, said: 'Getting everything integrated on the platform, being able to detect the target with the radar and then engage it with the high energy laser was very successful.

'We learned the 5kW laser was able to defeat the targets. We were able to verify and show that we could put a radar and a laser on a platform so it could self-cue to targets and that was very successful.'

The technology will now be matured in collaboration with industry with a view to developing it for future army applications.

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