Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Army, SOCOM successfully test laser weapon on Apache attack helicopters

Via Billy

FILE - This Oct. 8, 2011, photo released by the U.S Army National Guard shows an AH-64D Apache Longbow with the South Carolina Army National Guard releasing flares during a test over Camp Tajo, Iraq. The Army has lost an initial Senate skirmish over a hotly disputed plan to take Apache attack helicopters away from National Guard units in a budget cutting move that has infuriated governors and state military leaders. (AP Photo/U.S. Army National Guard, Tracci Dorgan)

The U.S. Army and Special Operations Command moved one step closer to giving elite troops offensive laser weapons for the battlefield.

A successful battery of tests on high-intensity directed energy laser weapons took place at White Sands Missile Range test ground in New Mexico, Raytheon announced Monday. Unmanned targets were destroyed “over a wide variety of flight regimes, altitudes, and air speeds, proving the feasibility of laser attack from Apache,” the company said.

The military website Task and Purpose said “surgical and precise” laser weapons will be a welcome addition to the operators’ mission toolbox.

“With Raytheon’s successful test comes a glimpse at what the future of offensive directed energy weapons could potentially look like,” the website said Monday. “Knowing that those weapons are in the hands of the elite warfighters of SOCOM is the most excited we’ve felt about DoD laser research in years.”

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