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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

01 June 2016

ILA 2016: MBDA Makes Laser Weapons Reality

At ILA 2016, MBDA Deutschland is presenting a new, flexibly deployable laser effector, which can be integrated onto both marine and land-based platforms via standardised interfaces. The new weapon system is especially suitable for defence against highly agile targets such as UAVs, rockets and mortar shells. 

Among other advantages, this laser effector features a 360° beam guidance system. Thanks to its novel optics, the system can acquire the target in a 360° operational arc, track it and then destroy it reliably and precisely using the weapon’s powerful laser beam. Modern tracking systems ensure a stable holding point on the target, and thus rapid target engagement. Short engagement times also make this effector capable of defending against swarming attacks such as UAVs attacking from different directions.

MBDA Deutschland’s solution features high accuracy, scalability of effect and minimised logistics costs. The system’s sophisticated mirror optics are capable of harnessing higher laser power levels than those currently available today. This laser effector therefore has enormous future potential, according to the company.

In recent years, MBDA Deutschland has invested a significant amount of its own resources into the development of laser technologies,” Peter Heilmeier, MBDA Deutschland’s Head of Sales and Business Development, explained. "We have achieved substantial results – also when compared to other international efforts. Laser weapons have the potential for being deployed wherever an immediate danger needs to be combated at very close range: for instance the protection of military camps, checkpoints and convoys. In the naval sector, laser effector systems could feature in both on board ship and port protection. MBDA’s new laser effector is a further important step towards an operationally deployable system.”