The US Army successfully tested a laser gun on an Apache helicopter

28 June 2017
501 Views

An Apache helicopter just successfully honed in on and hit an unmanned target with a laser gun, according to a press release from Raytheon, the weapon’s manufacturer.

It was the “first time that a fully integrated laser system successfully engaged and fired on a target from a rotary-wing aircraft over a wide variety of flight regimes, altitudes and air speeds,” Raytheon said. The Apache hit the target from about 0.9 miles away.

Raytheon combined a version of the Multi-Spectral Targeting System, which is an electro-optical infrared sensor, with the laser during the test, the company said.

Laser weapons are unique in that humans can’t hear or see them, which does not bode well for the enemy, according to the Pentagon. They’re also extremely accurate since they fire along a straight line, instead of an arc, which bullets and artillery shells fire along.

They may also prove one day to be a cheaper alternative to the Apache’s 30mm machine gun and hellfire missiles, which cost about $115,000 each, according to War is Boring.

As Matthew Ketner, branch chief of the High Energy Laser Controls and Integration Directorate in Virginia, told the Army News Service: “Lasers don’t run out of bullets.”

But there are still obstacles to overcome, according to Ketner. Laser weapons use a lot of energy and, at least for now, have a hard time breaking through dust, smoke, and haze.

Still, the military has increasingly looked to laser weapons. There has been an operational 30-kilowatt laser mounted on the USS Ponce since 2014.

More recently, the Air Force announced it had plans to test a laser weapon on an AC-130J gunship, and that they were working on arming B-52 bombers with defensive lasers.

Last month, the Army also announced that it successfully shot down a drone with a laser.

You may be interested

Greek Defence Council underway over F-16 upgdare and frigates
GREECE
shares15 views
GREECE
shares15 views

Greek Defence Council underway over F-16 upgdare and frigates

makis - Apr 23, 2018

In light of Turkey’s continuous belligerent stance towards Greece, the Governmental Council on Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA) is meeting…

Greek GDP primary surplus at 4.2%, EC Vice-President and ELSTAT say
GREECE
shares15 views
GREECE
shares15 views

Greek GDP primary surplus at 4.2%, EC Vice-President and ELSTAT say

makis - Apr 23, 2018

Greece has achieved a 4.2% primary surplus of the GDP fo 2017, according to official data released by the Hellenic…

Turkey: “We lowered all flags from the rocks & sent videos to Greece”
SLIDE
shares29 views
SLIDE
shares29 views

Turkey: “We lowered all flags from the rocks & sent videos to Greece”

makis - Apr 23, 2018

Yigit Bulut, the head adviser to the Turkish President provokes once again by saying that “it would be a shame…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.