Boeing Accepts Delivery of Key Component for US Army’s High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator

PITTSBURGH — The Boe­ing Com­pa­ny [NYSE: BA] on June 24 took deliv­ery of the beam direc­tor assem­bly for the U.S. Army’s High Ener­gy Laser Tech­nol­o­gy Demon­stra­tor (HEL TD) pro­gram, mov­ing the sys­tem anoth­er step clos­er to its 2011 test­ing sched­ule.

Inte­grat­ed Opti­cal Sys­tems Bras­hear, a divi­sion of L‑3 Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, deliv­ered the com­po­nent in Pitts­burgh for trans­port to Boeing’s facil­i­ty in Albu­querque, N.M., where it will be mat­ed to the remain­ing beam con­trol sys­tem hard­ware. Once assem­bled, the laser sys­tem will be inte­grat­ed with an Oshkosh Heavy Expand­ed Mobil­i­ty Tac­ti­cal Truck (HEMTT) in Huntsville, Ala.

The beam con­trol sys­tem will acquire, track and select an aim­point on a tar­get dur­ing the same time frame in which the sys­tem also will receive the laser beam from HEL TD’s laser device, reshape and align it, and focus it on the tar­get. The sys­tem includes mir­rors, high-speed proces­sors and high-speed opti­cal sen­sors.

“Watch­ing this rev­o­lu­tion­ary capa­bil­i­ty come togeth­er through the efforts of Boe­ing employ­ees and part­ners work­ing with our U.S. Army cus­tomer rein­forces how real — and how close — this tech­nol­o­gy is to being ready to sup­port warfight­ers,” said Blaine Beard­s­ley, Boe­ing HEL TD pro­gram man­ag­er.

The trans­for­ma­tion­al, sol­id-state laser weapon sys­tem will pro­vide speed-of-light, ultra-pre­ci­sion capa­bil­i­ty that will dra­mat­i­cal­ly improve warfight­ers’ abil­i­ty to counter rock­et, artillery and mor­tar pro­jec­tiles.

“We’re con­fi­dent in our abil­i­ty to begin test­ing at White Sands Mis­sile Range ear­ly next year against real tar­gets,” said Mike Rinn, vice pres­i­dent of Boe­ing Direct­ed Ener­gy Sys­tems. “Using a low-pow­er sur­ro­gate for the high-ener­gy laser, we will demon­strate the trans­for­ma­tion­al capa­bil­i­ty of this sys­tem and its poten­tial for the bat­tle­field.”

These low-pow­er tests will demon­strate the HEL TD system’s abil­i­ty to acquire, track and tar­get mov­ing pro­jec­tiles. The HEMTT will lat­er be equipped with a high-ener­gy laser that can destroy those tar­gets.

Boe­ing is devel­op­ing laser sys­tems for a vari­ety of U.S. Air Force, Army and Navy appli­ca­tions. Besides HEL TD, these sys­tems include the Free Elec­tron Laser, the Tac­ti­cal Relay Mir­ror Sys­tem, and the lat­est Com­pact 3‑D Imag­ing Cam­era.

A unit of The Boe­ing Com­pa­ny, Boe­ing Defense, Space & Secu­ri­ty is one of the world’s largest defense, space and secu­ri­ty busi­ness­es spe­cial­iz­ing in inno­v­a­tive and capa­bil­i­ties-dri­ven cus­tomer solu­tions, and the world’s largest and most ver­sa­tile man­u­fac­tur­er of mil­i­tary air­craft. Head­quar­tered in St. Louis, Boe­ing Defense, Space & Secu­ri­ty is a $34 bil­lion busi­ness with 68,000 employ­ees world­wide.

Text- / Bildquelle (source): Boe­ing
Patri­cia Solove­ichik
Boe­ing Strate­gic Mis­sile & Defense Sys­tems

Gayle Man­culich
L‑3 Bras­hear