MBDA Germany has achieved a power of 40 kW using its high-energy laser demonstrator during a laser firing campaign. The laser power generated by patented beam coupling of fibre lasers was successfully demonstrated for the first time in the world.
In the target tracking and firing tests, MBDA Germany demonstrated performance features such as the burning of mortar shells in just a few seconds. The laser with a power of 40 kW also pierced 40 mm thick steel plates in a few seconds. Target tracking runs that were demonstrated in previous trials were also successfully repeated.
The tests demonstrated the good beam quality of the lasers used and the precise and low-loss merging of the individual beams. This is the only way to ensure that targets are neutralised rapidly and reliably.
“High-power laser weapons can soon provide an answer to conventional and asymmetric threats in military missions,” explains Peter Heilmeier, Head of Market and Business Development MBDA Germany. “They can contribute greatly to protecting our troops. Laser weapons are characterised by precision at long ranges, minimum operating costs and the avoidance of collateral damage”.
With this campaign, MBDA Germany is building on a series of successful tests begun in2008. In2011, MBDA Germany was the first company inEuropeto achieve a power of 10 kW with a good laser beam quality. The tracking of dynamic objects and the effects on the object were demonstrated over a distance of more than2,300 mand an altitude difference of1,000 min real environmental conditions.
In September and October 2012 further tests are to be performed at the WTD 52 proving grounds in Oberjettenberg, where the entire combat process from detection to neutralisation of a flying target is to be tested for the first time.
The further development of the laser demonstrator is being financed using the company’s own funds and, in part, by the German Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB) with their research and technology resources.