Wednesday, September 19, 2018
What is it?
U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command leads Army innovation efforts for directed energy weapons. USASMDC/ARSTRAT leverages commercial innovations, warfighter feedback and cutting-edge science and technology to develop directed energy weapons.
What has the Army done/is doing?
USASMDC/ARSTRAT currently has four directed energy efforts underway:
USASMDC/ARSTRAT is producing positive results from vehicle-mounted high-energy lasers in counter- rocket, artillery, mortar and unmanned aerial system applications. HELMTT is currently fitted with a 50-kW class laser and is undergoing testing at White Sands, New Mexico.
MEHEL has been successfully operated by Soldiers in exercises to destroy UASs. In April, Soldiers from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment successfully operated the MEHEL during limited live-fire exercises at the Joint Warfighting Assessment in Europe.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned?
USASMDC/ARSTRAT will continue enhancing the Army's directed energy weapons with the goal of transitioning each of them to programs of record in the not too distant future. Planned efforts include:
Why is this important to the Army?
Innovations in directed energy weapons will provide cost effective systems capable of defeating rocket, artillery, and mortar (RAM) and unmanned aerial system (UAS) threats. A High Energy Laser (HEL) weapon system will be highly flexible, will defeat RAM threats at a low cost-per-kill, will have a deep magazine, and will defeat micro to class III UAS threats. HEL innovations will help make Soldiers and units more lethal to win the nation's wars, then come home safely.
####Focus Quote for the Day
Directed energy will hopefully very quickly see itself useful in the realm of breaching obstacle belts, in the realm of active defense, of not just shooting down UASs, but the ability to destroy incoming anti-tank missiles, mortars, field artillery rounds, across the whole of what the counter-rocket, artillery, and mortar mission is currently.
- Capt. Theo Kleinsorge, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-12 Cavalry, emphasizes the value of directed energy system at Fort Hood, Texas, April 2017
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