American arms manufacturer Raytheon and the US Army reported on the successful test of a high-energy laser gun mounted on an Apache helicopter, which tracked and successfully hit the ground target.
Apache with laser
Raytheon reports that this was the first time in the world when a fully integrated laser system mounted on an aircraft with a wide range of flight, altitude and speed modes successfully hit the target. Apache hit the target at a distance of about 1.5 km.
The report says that during the test, the military combined a laser with a multispectral targeting system, which is an electro-optical infrared sensor. Here’s how it looks on the video:
What laser is better than bullets?
Laser weapons are unique in that people can not hear or see his shots, which, in turn, does not bode well for the enemy. They are also extremely accurate, since they shoot strictly in a straight line, instead of an arc, on which bullets and artillery shells are flying.
Moreover, the Americans are sure that in the future the laser can become a cheaper alternative to the 30mm Apache machine gun and AGM-114 Hellfair missiles, which cost $ 115,000 each. Well, and most importantly, according to their own words, “the laser will never run out of ammunition.”
Of course, laser weapons use a lot of energy and, at least for the time being, the laser beam does not pass well through dust, smoke and haze. Nevertheless, the military is increasingly turning to laser weapons, which, apparently, will soon finally cease to be something from the field of science fiction films.
The US military said that they plan to equip the AC-130J combat aircraft with laser weapons, as well as the B-52 bomber defense systems. In general, it is planned that the US army will begin to use mass laser weapons by 2023. Meanwhile, the US is confident that Russian lasers threaten satellites.