Tactical High Energy Laser Shoots Down Multiple Mortar Rounds

Released on Thursday, August 26, 2004
United States of America
MTHEL - Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser
THEL - Tactical High Energy Laser
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 forward.


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