An AH-64 Apache is on display at Le Bourget Airport, France during the Paris Air Show, on June 23, 2017. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Ryan Crane/U.S. Air Force/UPI
June 26 (UPI) -- A high-energy laser system has been fired for the first time from a helicopter at a variety of targets from differing altitudes, air speeds and flight regimes.
Raytheon announced Monday it conducted the flight test at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico with the U.S. Army Apache Program Management Office in collaboration with the U.S. Special Operations Command.
All primary and secondary goals were accomplished, the company said, and solid evidence collected for the feasibility of high resolution, multi-band targeting sensor performance and beam propagation supportive of High Energy Laser capability for the rotary-wing attack mission.
As a result, the design of future HEL systems will be shaped by the data collected on the impact of vibration, dust and rotor downwash on HEL beam control and steering.
"Our goal is to pull the future forward," Art Morrish, vice president of Advanced Concept and Technologies for Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, said in a press release. "This data collection shows we're on the right track."
"By combining combat proven sensors, like the MTS, with multiple laser technologies, we can bring this capability to the battlefield sooner rather than later."
Raytheon said that in the test it coupled a variant of the multi-spectral targeting system with an electro-optical infrared sensor and a laser.