Thursday, April 20, 2017

Mobile High Energy Laser - MEHEL

The US military is testing a laser weapon designed to take out the aerial drone menace, and small enough to be mounted on a Stryker armored vehicle. The Mobile High Energy Laser (MEHEL) fires a 5-kilowatt beam that can either scramble the drone’s circuits and sever its communications with ground control – a “soft kill” – or destroy it outright in a “hard kill” Vehicles equipped with the MEHEL took part in the 10-day Maneuver Fires Integration Experiment exercises at Fort Sill, Oklahoma last week. 50 drones were shot down, some just a few seconds after being engaged
The MEHEL is mounted on top of the 16-ton Stryker wheeled infantry vehicle, outside the commander’s hatch, where it replaces a machine gun mount. It is powered by externally mounted batteries, which can be recharged by the vehicle. Technology that would allow the laser to use the vehicle’s power source directly is still in development.
Drones are detected by radar, and a camera included in the system displays the target on the screen, enabling the operator to aim the laser. The artillery then goes after the ground control.