Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Truck-borne laser weapon to be on way soon
by Staff Writers
Washington (UPI) Jul 28, 2010

An artist's rendering depicts the High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator. A key "subassembly" of the BCS is the beam director, a dome-shaped turret that will extend above the roof of the vehicle when it engages targets. The beam director, which can rotate 360 degrees, will contain a set of mirrors that point and focus the beam.

A powerful laser weapon that can fit on a light truck is set to be the military's answer to the dilemma of overreacting to enemy attack and harming friendly forces in the process.

The laser-beam weapon, being developed by the U.S. Army and Boeing, is seen to be a more focused alternative to artillery or rocket response to enemy action that usually results in innocent civilians or friendly forces being caught up in the onslaught.

Death and injury among third-party individuals near or around a scene of battle is one of the classic scenarios that carries with it acute embarrassment -- or worse -- for both military leaders and politicians. The new laser weapon being developed aims to avoid, if not completely eliminate, that eventuality.

The High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator system will consist of a laser weapon system mounted on an Oshkosh Defense military truck. Traveling at the speed of light the laser beam will hit targets with unprecedented swiftness. And no bullets will rain down on anyone in the process, says Boeing's Marc Selinger in an article on the innovation.

"This transformational, ultra-precision capability will dramatically improve warfighters' ability to counter rocket, artillery and mortar projectiles," said Michael Rinn, vice president of Boeing Directed Energy Systems.

Under contract to the Army, Boeing in 2009 completed the design of a laser beam control system on a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck, a widely used eight-wheel, 500-horsepower military vehicle built by Oshkosh Defense in Oshkosh, Wis. The truck will be shipped to Boeing's facility in Huntsville, Ala., this summer for integration with the BCS.

An artist's rendering depicts the High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator. A key "subassembly" of the BCS is the beam director, a dome-shaped turret that will extend above the roof of the vehicle when it engages targets. The beam director, which can rotate 360 degrees, will contain a set of mirrors that point and focus the beam. Other BCS subassemblies will focus the laser beam and transfer it from the laser to the beam director. The BCS also will find and track targets.

HEL TD testing against real targets but using a low-power "surrogate" for the high-energy laser, is scheduled for fiscal year 2011 at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The tests are meant to demonstrate the ability to target and engage moving projectiles with the HEL TD system. The truck will later be equipped with a high-energy laser that can destroy those targets, Boeing said.

"These efforts could pave the way for further development of the technology -- and ultimately deployment on the battlefield," said Bill Gnacek, the U.S. Army's HEL TD program manager. "Our main goal is to transition this HEL TD technology into a formal acquisition program and eventually place it in the hands of Army commanders, providing them an effective, lethal capability to counter rocket, artillery and mortar projectiles."


Related Links
Learn about laser weapon technology at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Maritime Laser Demonstration System Proves Key Capabilities For Shipboard Operations
Port Hueneme CA (SPX) Jul 27, 2010
Northrop Grumman recently completed a series of tests of the Maritime Laser Demonstration (MLD) system, moving high-energy lasers a step closer to deployment aboard U.S. Navy ships. Recent shore-based tests at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) in Port Hueneme proved the MLD system's ability to track small boats at long ranges and in a marine environment. "Tracking tests were pa ... read more

Japan experts call for robot expedition to moon

GRAIL Spacecraft Takes Shape

Caltech Team Finds Evidence Of Water In Moon Minerals

Water On The Moon Is Widespread

Rocks On Mars May Provide Link To Evidence Of Living Organisms Roughly 4 Billion Years Ago

Martian Dust Devil Whirls Into Opportunity's View

DLR Investigates The Existence Of Liquid Salt Solutions On Mars

Curiosity Rover Grows By Leaps And Bounds

Planetary Society Urges Debate On NASA Authorization Bill

Astronomer: Manned missions less likely

Panel considers cost of space tourism

2010 Space Elevator Conference

China Contributes To Space-Based Information Access A Lot

China Sends Research Satellite Into Space

China eyes Argentina for space antenna

Seven More For Shenzhou

ISS Commander Responds To Love Letter From Earth

Space walk successful despite lost parts

cosmonauts Complete First Expedition 24 Spacewalk

Ball Aerospace And LockMart Demo New Docking System Technology

Sea Launch Signs Agreement With EchoStar

Ariane 5 Is Ready For Its Payload Integration

NASA Tests Launch Abort System At Supersonic Speeds

Sea Launch Signs Launch Agreement With AsiaSat

Planets In Unusually Intimate Dance Around Dying Star

Detector Technology Could Help NASA Find Earth-Like Exoplanets

NASA Finds Super-Hot Planet With Unique Comet-Like Tail

Recipes For Renegade Planets

Smartphones power up profit for SK Telecom

YouTube ups video limit to 15 minutes

Obama bored with his BlackBerry

Amazon introducing two new Kindles: report

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement