WASHINGTON — The US Army conducted tests of a high-precision and high-energy laser weapon with representatives of Raytheon and its subsidiary KBR Kord in White Sands, New Mexico. The American Stryker IAV was equipped with the laser weapon and during the tests, the team was able to track, intercept and destroy numerous mortar projectiles, as well as several unmanned aerial vehicles of small to large sizes.
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Sources say the companies have provided a “laser weapon” solution with an extremely robust design and exceptional power. The laser system has provided 360-degree coverage. Raytheon says the weapon is built on the principle of open architecture, which allows future upgrades, modernization, or integration of completely new technologies.
The announcement from both companies shows that the laser weapon system is a design and product of Raytheon, while KBR Kord took care of the system’s integrator with Stryker IAV.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that in mid-April Israel also tested its latest Iron Beam laser system developed by the Israeli company Rafael. The tests were conducted in the Negev desert, and the laser successfully intercepted, tracked, and destroyed a drone, a mortar projectile, a surface-to-surface missile, and an anti-tank guided missile [ATGM].
Back in the United States, KBR President Byron Bright said after tests at White Sands that laser weapons were a solution and response to asymmetric threats such as drones and mortars. “This team once again showed that the HEL [High Energy Laser] system is fully integrated and ready to provide protection against complex threats,” he said.
Russia is also developing laser weapons. In 2021, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu announced in an interview with Russian media that the Peresvet laser weapon had been tested in Syria. However, Shoigu also said that many of the weapons tested in Syria in one way or another do not reach the production line and remain only in a prototype state.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that in 2020 the USS Portland landing craft of the US Navy successfully tested high-power laser weapons that can destroy aircraft in fligh. CNN then noted that the tests, during which an unmanned aerial vehicle in the Pacific Ocean were destroyed, were held on May 16. The television company published videos and photographs showing how a laser beam is directed from the deck of a ship onto the apparatus and incapacitates it. CNN quotes a Navy statement saying it is “the first test of a high-end solid-state laser at the system level.”
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