Boeing's Laser Avenger destroys 50 IEDs in Army tests

December 4, 2009--Boeing and the U.S. Army completed tests in which a laser system on an Avenger combat vehicle destroyed 50 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) similar to those used by adversaries in war zones. Boeing Directed Energy Systems (Albuquerque, NM) and Boeing Combat Systems Global Forces/Robotics Systems (Huntsville, AL) cooperatively developed Laser Avenger, a Boeing-funded program to demonstrate that directed-energy weapons are maturing and relevant to today's battlefield.

December 4, 2009--Boeing and the U.S. Army completed tests in which a laser system on an Avenger combat vehicle destroyed 50 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) similar to those used by adversaries in war zones. Boeing Directed Energy Systems (Albuquerque, NM) and Boeing Combat Systems Global Forces/Robotics Systems (Huntsville, AL) cooperatively developed Laser Avenger, a Boeing-funded program to demonstrate that directed-energy weapons are maturing and relevant to today's battlefield (see also "Combat vehicle uses laser to shoot down UAV in tests").

During the laser firings at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Laser Avenger neutralized multiple types of IEDs, including large-caliber artillery munitions and smaller bomblets and mortar rounds. The system operated at safe distances from the targets and under a variety of conditions, including different angles and ranges. Soldiers traveling with Laser Avenger would not have to get out of their armored vehicles or wait for an explosive ordnance disposal team to destroy an IED and continue their mission.

"Improvised explosive devices continue to threaten U.S. troops deployed in war zones, and Laser Avenger provides the ultra-precision, stand-off capability our warfighters need today to safely neutralize those threats," said Gary Fitzmire, VP and program director of Boeing Missile Defense Systems' Directed Energy Systems unit.

Boeing is developing laser systems for a variety of U.S. Air Force, Army and Navy warfighter applications. These systems include the Airborne Laser, Free Electron Laser, High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator, and Tactical Relay Mirror System.

For more information, go to www.boeing.com/mds.

--Posted by Gail Overton, gailo@pennwell.com; www.laserfocusworld.com.

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