Boeing to Develop Elements for a Mobile High Energy Laser Weapon Demonstrator

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Boeing [NYSE: BA] won a US$7 million US Army contract to design key elements for a truck mounted High Energy Laser (HEL) that will demonstrate the capability to destroy rockets, artillery shells and mortar rounds. Under the current (first) phase of the HEL Technology Demonstrator (HEL TD) program Boeing will design and build the rugged beam control system (BCS) to be mounted on an Army Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT). Boeing's share of the program could increase up to $50 million if both phase I and II options are exercised. The Army US Army Space and Missile Defense Command has yet to announce its selection of the Solid State Laser provider for the program.

In the follow-on phase II, Boeing could be asked to integrate the system on the truck and prepare it for testing, which will evaluate how a mobile, solid-state laser weapon system can counter rocket, artillery and mortar projectiles. Once proven its effectiveness, the program will support the transition to a full-fledged Army acquisition program (Milestobe B).

"We consider this program an important win for Boeing because it supports a cornerstone of the Army's high-energy laser program," said Pat Shanahan, vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems. "We believe this is the next step for developing a weapon system that can change the face of the battlefield." Other high-energy laser systems programs developed by Boeing include the Airborne Laser, the Advanced Tactical Laser and the Tactical Relay Mirror System.

The HEL TD will be tested at the High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility, New Mexico. The goal of these tests is to verify that all all enabling technologies are sufficiently mature for a mobile solid state laser (SSL) weapon system to provide an effective counter rocket, artillery, and mortar (C-RAM) capability.



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