Laser strike – A high energy laser mounted on a helicopter shoots a target in groundbreaking test

A Raytheon high energy laser mounted on an Apache AH-64 attack helicopter acquired and hit an unmanned target.

Raytheon high_energy_laser_lead_DI+M

In this major technology advancement, a high energy laser mounted on an Apache AH-64 attack helicopter acquired and hit an unmanned target.

Raytheon and U.S. Army Apache Program Management Office demonstrate feasibility of ground attack

The test was conducted by Raytheon and the U.S. Army Apache Program Management Office in collaboration with U.S. Special Operations Command at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

It was the first time a fully integrated laser system successfully shot a target from a rotary-wing aircraft over a wide variety of flight regimes, altitudes and air speeds, proving the feasibility of laser attack from Apache.

The system tracked and directed energy on a stationary target at a slant range of 1.4 kilometers. (Slant range is the line-of-sight distance between two points at different levels.)

The data collected from the test, including impact of vibration, dust and rotor downwash, will help shape future high-energy laser systems.

“Our goal is to pull the future forward,” said Art Morrish, vice president of Advanced Concepts and Technologies for Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. “This data collection shows we’re on the right track.”

For the test, Raytheon coupled a variant of the Multi-Spectral Targeting System, an advanced, electro-optical, infrared sensor, with a laser. The MTS provided targeting information, situational awareness and beam control.

D+I Newsroom

Defence.com.au and D + I Magazine has a dedicated news desk within the 24/7 Cyber Press Newsroom. We're now able to publish news as it comes to hand, anytime day or night.

more recommended stories

Live Chat
1
Close chat
Get Defence + Industry Magazine by simply typing 'subscribe' and we'll send you a free download link for each new issue!

Subscribe Free