The laser is to be mounted on the HEMTT and will be capable of destroying rockets, artillery shells, and mortar rounds.
The initial contract has been awarded to the Boeing Company to develop a control system for a solid-state laser to be mounted on the HEMTT. The control system, known as a rugged beam control system (BCS), will used to accurately point the laser beam on an enemy target, be it a rocket, shell, or mortar round. The Army has chosen a solid-state laser over the chemical laser because the former is lighter and does not require the constant supply of chemical fuels.
Boeing is one of several companies building an airborne laser weapon (ABL) to be used by the military. The ABL uses a chemical oxygen iodine laser mounted in the nose of a modified 747, patrolling at high altitudes, to track enemy missiles during the boost phase and fire a burst to destroy the missile over the launch site.
Both of these systems fall under the High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator (HEL TD) Phase I, which seeks to demonstrate that mobile, solid-state laser can be an effective counter to enemy projectiles. The program will eventually transform into a full-fledged Army acquisition program.
“You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have trucks with frickin‘ laser beams attached to their heads! Now evidently my cycloptic colleague informs me that that cannot be done. Ah, would you remind me what I pay you people for, honestly? Throw me a bone here!What do we have?”