The technology demonstration version of a laser weapon to combat UAVs has been successfully tested in Germany

Laser weapons are designed to combat drones, they were built on behalf of the German Bundeswehr.

Rheinmetall reported about this.

The first trials with the laser testbed were conducted at Rheinmetall’s proving ground in Unterlüß as part of a Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System (C-UAS) campaign.

Rheinmetall has successfully tested the technology demonstrator version of a laser weapon designed on behalf of the German Bundeswehr.

The laser testbed serves not only as a technology demonstrator laser weapon but also as the basis for future R&D work.

The laser testbed is designed in a way that all components of a future laser weapon system could be examined modularly. Every interface of the sensors – the radar, for example – or of the energy supply and laser source are the “open” designs.

This makes it possible to test every conceivable combination iteratively and then compare the results.

The objective of current studies in the laser testbed is to produce a suitable configuration for a mobile technology demonstrator with a laser output of over 10 kW for integration into a Boxer fighting vehicle by the end of 2022.

The laser testbed consists of a 20-foot container divided into three compartments: laser, operator, and infrastructure.

Encompassing five 2 kW-fibre laser modules, the laser source is installed in the laser compartment. Bundled via spectral coupling, the individual laser modules achieve a total output of 10 kW, producing excellent beam quality.

During the C-UAS campaign, a variety of drone types were optically tracked and neutralized at ranges of engagement of up to one kilometer. Rheinmetall claims that the results obtained were more than satisfactory.

Currently, the laser testbed consists entirely of subassemblies made by Rheinmetall. However, the open interface architecture makes it possible to integrate and test components from other manufacturers as well.

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