Working with Raytheon, the US Army has successfully tested a high energy laser weapon system on an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter that actually engaged and fired on a target.

The recent test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, “marks 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,” the company said.

The laser tracked and directed energy on “a number” of targets, Raytheon added.

“This data collection shows we’re on the right track. By combining combat proven sensors, like the MTS, with multiple laser technologies, we can bring this capability to the battlefield sooner rather than later,” Art Morrish, vice president of Advanced Concept and Technologies for Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, said in the statement. – Defense News

The rapid development of ‘high tech’ weaponry is amazing. The idea behind a laser is that is can dramatically increase the number of targets any given platform could take out. Right now the Apache is limited to carrying up to 16 Hellfire missiles. Adding a laser system could also significantly lower the cost of target destruction compared to using missiles.

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