Humvee Lasers Down Aircraft

Fitted, tuned, armed, dangerous...There is no further need to describe the Humvee or explain what it does. We all know that its primary function is not to carry one's a** around the city streets, with the sole purpose to get that a** from point A to point B. It's a troop carrier, armament carrier, S250 shelter carrier, ambulance, TOW missile carrier and a Scout vehicle. And now it has become an anti-aircraft weapons platform.

The Boeing Company has successfully demonstrated that a laser system mounted on an Avenger combat vehicle can shoot down a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) like those that increasingly threaten U.S. troops deployed in war zones. "Small UAVs armed with explosives or equipped with surveillance sensors are a growing threat on the battlefield," said Gary Fitzmire, vice president and program director of Boeing Directed Energy Systems.

"Laser Avenger, unlike a conventional weapon, can fire its laser beam without creating missile exhaust or gun flashes that would reveal its position. As a result, Laser Avenger can neutralize these UAV threats while keeping our troops safe." During tests in December at the White Sands Missile Range, the Laser Avenger achieved its principal test objectives by using its advanced targeting system to acquire and track three small UAV's flying against a complex background of mountains and desert.

The laser system also shot down one of the UAVs from an operationally relevant range. These tests mark the first time a combat vehicle has used a laser to shoot down a UAV. Laser Avenger integrates a directed energy weapon together with the kinetic weapons on the proved Avenger air defense system developed by Boeing Combat Systems in Huntsville, Ala. It is a Boeing-funded initiative to demonstrate that directed energy weapons are maturing and are relevant to today's battlefield.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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