Northrop-Grumman has announced that the Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser (MTHEL)
built for the US Army and the Israel Ministry of Defense successfully destroyed
a rocket on May 4 that was larger while flying faster and higher than threats
previously destroyed by the MTHEL.
The demonstration took place at US Army's White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
The large caliber rocket was carrying a live warhead and was intercepted and
destroyed by the MTHEL test bed.
This testing is of central importance due to many countries already possess
large caliber rockets. The large-caliber rocket employed during the test
features double range, three times altitude and far much more warhead that
threats employed until now within the MTHEL development program. It is
representative of threats faced by US and Israeli forces.
Northrop-Grumman began to work on the High Energy Laser in 1996 when it was
called the THEL / Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrator (ACTD). MTHEL is
intended to be the first US Army transportable laser weapon.
To date, the MTHEL test bed has destroyed 28 Katyusha rockets and five artillery
shells in flight.
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