US Army orders truck mounted laser cannons

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US Army orders truck mounted laser cannons

Boeing is to develop a truck-mounted laser weapon system that destroys rockets, artillery shells and mortar rounds as part of a US$7m contract awarded by the US Army.

The first phase of the High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator (HEL-TD) contract will involve the design of a rugged Beam Control System designed to be mounted on a truck.

The objective is to demonstrate that a mobile, solid-state laser weapon system can effectively counter rocket, artillery and mortar projectiles.

Boeing will then have the option of building and testing the Beam Control System integrated on a vehicle platform, and refining the requirements for the entire HEL-TD system.

These developments will increase the total programme contract cost to around US$50m and will support the transition to a fully-fledged Army acquisition programme.

"We consider this programme an important win for Boeing because it supports a cornerstone of the Army's high-energy laser programme," said Pat Shanahan, vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems.

"We believe this is the next step for developing a weapons system that can change the face of the battlefield."

Boeing is already involved in developing high-energy laser systems for a variety of  applications such as the Airborne Laser, the Advanced Tactical Laser and the Tactical Relay Mirror System.

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