The Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL) built by Northrop-Grumman for the US Army
scored another success shooting down multiple mortar rounds during tests series
at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
The THEL tests aimed at demonstrating the laser weapon system can provide
effective defense on the battlefield against common threats occurred on August
24, 2004. During the tests the laser weapon prototype destroyed both single
mortar rounds and multiple mortar rounds fired in a salvo.
These tests are part of the US Army Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser (MTHEL)
program which intends to develop the first even weapon capable of detecting,
tracking, engaging, and defeating rocket, mortar and artillery rounds as well as
cruise missiles, short-range ballistic missiles and unmanned aircraft (UAVs).
The US Army and the Israeli Ministry of Defense are collaborating on behalf of
the MTHEL program.
Since 2000, the THEL laser weapon demonstrator has destroyed more than 30
targets, ranging from Katyusha rockets to artillery shells and large-caliber
rockets, and now mortar rounds as well. In the foreseeable future, the MTHEL
shall be the first directed energy weapon fielded by the US Army Future Combat
Systems inserting speed-of-light technology which represents a significant leap
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