June 26, 2017 Robert Beckhusen
Raytheon tests helicopter-borne laser pod
The thrust of the U.S. military’s laser weapon tests have focused on the sea, on land and aboard fixed-wing aircraft. You need a lot of power to generate a beam capable of burning through a target, which limits where you can stick a laser.
But they can work on helicopters, too. Raytheon recently tested a high-energy laser weapon attached to an AH-64 Apache helicopter gunship.
Raytheon claims it’s the first time a “fully integrated” laser weapon system—specifically, integrated with Raytheon’s Multi-Spectral Targeting System sensor in this case—has been successfully tested from a helicopter “over a wide variety of flight regimes, altitudes and air speeds,” the company announced in a statement.
The test, which involved U.S. Special Operations Command, took place at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The idea behind the experiment was to see how well the laser performed against several…
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