Rheinmetall Tests 50 kW Laser


Rheinmetall announced yesterday that it tested a 50 kW high-energy laser (HEL) technology demonstrator at the end of November. The test at the company’s Ochsenboden proving ground in Switzerland involved detecting, tracking and engaging a target in scenarios including air defense and countering rockets, artillery, mortars and asymmetric threats.

Rheinmetall photos

The technology demonstrator consisted of two functional models: a 30 kW weapon station integrated into an Oerlikon revolver gun air defense turret for static and dynamic tests, coupled with an Oerlikon Skyguard fire control unit; and a 20 kW weapon station integrated into a first-generation revolver gun turret. It cut through a 15 mm-thick steel girder at a range of 1,000 meters, shot down several diving target UAVs at a range of two kilometers flying over 50 meters a second, and engaged an 82 mm-diameter steel ball representing a mortar round and traveling around 50 meters a second, according to Rheinmetall.

As the next step, Rheinmetall plans to build a 60 kW technology demonstrator in 2013 and integrate 35mm Ahead revolver guns into the system to identify and study possible synergies between laser weapons and automatic cannon. The company will also continue work on mobile HEL weapons on different platforms.

In September 2011, Rheinmetall shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle with a 10-kW laser weapon demonstrator and sank a moving rubber raft with a 1-kW laser weapon module mounted on a TM 170-type vehicle.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's Ares?

Aviation Week editors blog their personal views on the defense industry.

A Century of Aviation Week

Aviation Week & Space Technology is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.


Aug 26, 2016

When Aviation Week Was Accused of Treason -- The Back Story Revealed 8

A 1957 revelation that the U.S. was tracking Soviet missile launches from a secret radar in Turkey has its roots in sleuthing of students from Kettering Grammar School in the UK....More
Aug 23, 2016

When Aviation Week Was Accused Of Treason 23

Aviation Week editors routinely get blowback when they write about sensitive topics, and the best example of that may be an October 1957 story that revealed the U.S. had been tracking Russian missile launches from advanced long-range radar units in Turkey....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×