On 9th October 2012, MBDA Germany completed a further major step towards a laser weapon system capable of providing air defence. For the first time, the company’s high-energy laser demonstrator was used to demonstrate the complete deployment sequence in countering rockets, artillery and mortar shells (C-RAM). Using 40 kW of laser power, the laser demonstrator successfully acted on airborne targets at a range of over 2,000 m.
For these tests, MBDA Germany’s laser demonstrator was equipped with a new, improved performance, significantly more compact and lighter optical system which was integrated in a transportable container. During the tests, the illumination and effect laser was pre-targeted using a radar (SPEXER™ 2000) and an IR optronics system (MEOS II) supplied by Cassidian. A multi-stage control system, incorporating an in-house developed image processing system, was used to lock onto the target at close range.
To serve as targets, the MBDA test team used artillery shell models towed in a wide variety of flight paths at an altitude of 1,000 m. Function control and monitoring as well as data recording, security technology and visualisation were all set up within a transportable fire control centre and demonstrated together with the laser during the tests.