Latest in Tomorrow

Image credit: Raytheon

The Army is flight testing helicopter-mounted laser weapons

Tomorrow's squad support copters could fire beams of radiation from afar.
929 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Raytheon

The US military's experiments shooting lasers from vehicles continue with another important milestone: Laser-equipped attack helicopter fired at targets for the first time. The US Army keeps getting better at nailing UAV targets with ground-based truck lasers, but it's harder to fire accurately from helicopters. Not only does their position fluctuate with airborne conditions, but their whole frame vibrates as their rotors spin fast enough to keep the whole vehicle aloft. Hitting a target almost a mile away from the air, as the Army just accomplished in a New Mexico tests series, is a big deal.

Arms contractor Raytheon coupled a targeting array with a High Energy Laser (HEL) system and strapped them to AH-64 Apaches, the US Army's main attack helicopter. During tests at New Mexico's White Sands base, the vehicles hit targets from a variety of conditions, altitudes and air speeds. These experiments will help researchers factor in vibration, dust and rotor downwash into their laser-aiming tech so that one day our military can field the beam-shooting gunships we've been dreaming of since GI JOE.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
929 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget’s guide to Home Entertainment

Engadget’s guide to Home Entertainment

View
Sling TV's free streaming comes to Android and Amazon devices

Sling TV's free streaming comes to Android and Amazon devices

View
Walmart will take on Amazon with discounted third-party products

Walmart will take on Amazon with discounted third-party products

View
Hulu brings 4K content to the Xbox One

Hulu brings 4K content to the Xbox One

View
What's on TV this week: 'Watchmen'

What's on TV this week: 'Watchmen'

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr