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Lockheed laser system proves worth against rockets

May 8, 2013 at 1:40 PM   |   Comments

SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 8 (UPI) -- A prototype laser system for defense against short-range threats has been successfully tested in the United States by Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed said the Area Defense Anti-Munitions destroyed eight free-flying Qassam-like rocket targets in multiple tests against free-flying Qassam-like rocket targets during multiple tests in March and April.

The rockets were fired from a distance of 0.9 miles.

"The tests represent increasingly complex scenarios against representative airborne targets," the company said. "In 2012, the system successfully destroyed 11 small-caliber rocket targets in simulated flight tethered to a cable at a range of approximately 1.2 miles. The system also successfully engaged an unmanned aerial system target in flight at a range of approximately 0.9 miles in 2012."

The ADAM system uses a 10-kilowatt fiber laser engineered to destroy targets up to 1.2 miles away. Its tracking range is more than 3.1 miles.

Lockheed said it is being designed to be flexible enough to operate against rockets as a standalone system and to engage unmanned aerial systems with an external cue.

"Our test results demonstrate the capabilities of the ADAM system to provide a practical, affordable directed-energy solution to the real-world problem of close-in threats," said Tory Bruno, president of Strategic and Missile Defense Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co.

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