By Jason B. Cutshaw, SMDC
The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command has used a solid-state high-energy laser testbed to engage and destroy threat representative targets in tactical scenarios.
The Solid-State Laser Testbed, or SSLT, is part of an Army test designed to investigate military applications and validate the operational utility of high-energy lasers. Results from testing in April have confirmed that solid-state lasers can negate unmanned aircraft vehicles and rocket, artillery and mortar threats in flight.
“The Army-Northrop Grumman team put in a lot of work to complete these impressive demonstrations,” said Richard P. De Fatta, director of theSMDC Emerging Technology Directorate. “We still have a lot of lethality and performance data to collect for model refinement, but the success of these demonstrations represent extremely important technical milestones. These demonstration results reduce overall program and technical risk while increasing confidence in the community that we can deliver this revolutionary capability to our Soldiers.”
SSLT will be used to evaluate the capability of a high-energy solid-state laser to accomplish a variety of missions. Those results will be the basis for directing future development of solid-state lasers for use on the battlefield.