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

28 June 2017
327 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

Turkish deputy-Prime Minister accuses Greece of oppressing religious minorities in latest Turkish tirade against Greece
GREECE
shares44 views
GREECE
shares44 views

Turkish deputy-Prime Minister accuses Greece of oppressing religious minorities in latest Turkish tirade against Greece

makis - Nov 17, 2017

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag accused Greece of imprisoning Muslim Imams, despite the country being a member of the…

Greek PM says country would rely on itself to face flood disaster
POLITICS
shares55 views
POLITICS
shares55 views

Greek PM says country would rely on itself to face flood disaster

makis - Nov 17, 2017

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras thanked European countries for offering to help after the flash floods in western Attica, Wednesday, which…

US meteorologist explains deadly storm that flooded Greek towns
GREECE
shares76 views
GREECE
shares76 views

US meteorologist explains deadly storm that flooded Greek towns

makis - Nov 17, 2017

“When the Atlantic hurricane season begins to quiet down in late October and November, it’s time to cast an eye…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.