Boeing Laser Avenger destroys IEDs in test

Jan. 21, 2010
Information on the performance of the vehicle-mounted military laser being developed by the Boeing Company and the U.S. Army continues to come out in dribs and drabs.  In the latest to be revealed, a video has been unveiled of a test that was done in September of 2009 (which was announced earlier) in which the laser system, mounted on an Avenger combat vehicle, destroyed 50 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) similar to those used by adversaries in war zones.

Information on the performance of the vehicle-mounted military laser being developed by the Boeing Company and the U.S. Army continues to come out in dribs and drabs. In the latest to be revealed, a video has been unveiled of a test that was done in September of 2009 (which was announced earlier) in which the laser system, mounted on an Avenger combat vehicle, destroyed 50 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) similar to those used by adversaries in war zones.

Destroying IEDs from far off
The laser firings occurred during September 22 to 24 at Redstone Arsenal (Huntsville, AL). The video shows the Laser Avenger neutralizing two different IEDs, with one event occurring faster than the other (probably found a nicer dwell spot on the IED). In the complete test, the laser set off a number of different sorts of IEDs, including large-caliber artillery munitions, smaller bomblets, and mortar rounds. The system operated at safe distances from the targets and at different angles and ranges. If the device were used in real combat, 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 before getting on with their mission.

The U.S. Defense Department's Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) sponsored the test, which was conducted by Boeing and the Army Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space.

The test follows 2008 and 2009 demonstrations in which Laser Avenger shot down a small unmanned aerial vehicle in each event, and a 2007 demonstration in which an earlier version of Laser Avenger destroyed five targets representing IEDs and unexploded ordnance.

Boeing Directed Energy Systems (Albuquerque, NM) and the Boeing Combat Systems Global Forces and Robotics Systems team in Huntsville cooperatively developed Laser Avenger, which integrates a directed-energy weapon together with the existing kinetic weapons on the proven Avenger air defense system developed by Combat Systems. Laser Avenger is a Boeing-funded initiative to demonstrate that directed-energy weapons are maturing and are relevant to today's battlefield.

Contacts at Boeing Missile Defense Systems are:

Marc Selinger, [email protected]

Chuck Cadena, [email protected]

About the Author

John Wallace | Senior Technical Editor (1998-2022)

John Wallace was with Laser Focus World for nearly 25 years, retiring in late June 2022. He obtained a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and physics at Rutgers University and a master's in optical engineering at the University of Rochester. Before becoming an editor, John worked as an engineer at RCA, Exxon, Eastman Kodak, and GCA Corporation.

Sponsored Recommendations

Optical Power Meters for Diverse Applications

April 30, 2024
Bench-top single channel to multichannel power meters, Santec has the power measurement platforms to meet your requirements.

Request a quote: Micro 3D Printed Part or microArch micro-precision 3D printers

April 11, 2024
See the results for yourself! We'll print a benchmark part so that you can assess our quality. Just send us your file and we'll get to work.

Request a Micro 3D Printed Benchmark Part: Send us your file.

April 11, 2024
See the results for yourself! We'll print a benchmark part so that you can assess our quality. Just send us your file and we'll get to work.

Request a free Micro 3D Printed sample part

April 11, 2024
The best way to understand the part quality we can achieve is by seeing it first-hand. Request a free 3D printed high-precision sample part.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Laser Focus World, create an account today!