The US Army deployed lasers to assist with drone threats

| April 27, 2024

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The U.S. Army has added to its weapons inventory. A couple of high-energy lasers were deployed to assist troops with combating hostile drones. One had already been in theater; a second one was recently added. Elsewhere, different laser systems are being evaluated in other areas where the US is deployed. With these laser deployments, the Army joins the Navy when it comes to operational lasers in a deployed environment.

From military.com:

While the Army’s top general responsible for counter-drone efforts had previously stated that several different laser weapons systems were undergoing “operational assessments” in the U.S. Central Command, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command areas of responsibility, news of the P-HEL’s operational employment marks the U.S. military’s first publicly acknowledged deployment of a working laser weapon for air defense outside of experimental testing.

The service declined to confirm whether the P-HEL had achieved a “kill” against an incoming drone yet.

“The Army remains committed to testing and integrating cutting-edge technologies, such as directed energy, as part of its ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of our soldiers and effectively support the United States’ mission,” the Army spokesman said.

Laser weapons work by converting electrical power into an intense stream of photons that, when narrowed through a beam director, can burn through various materials — like, say, the carbon fiber body of a drone, the casing of a rocket or mortar, or even the hull of a small boat.

A video of P-HEL testing shared with Military.com by BlueHalo shows an operator using an Xbox controller to reposition the pallet-mounted laser array, then scanning the sky for incoming targets before locking onto a moving quadcopter drone, which soon bursts into flames and drops out of the sky. The effect is quickly repeated on a rocket.

Military.com provides additional information here.

Category: Army, Army News

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Roh-Dog

The US Army: our two-steps forward are way more expensive than the step back.

We were never going to not need SHORAD and it seems catch up is fritzing as usual.

Good luck, ADA. I’m rooting for ya!

(edit: ottocarrot)

s-l500-4187640873
Last edited 1 month ago by Roh-Dog
fm2176

Speaking of ADA, my former HHC, 4th BDE, 3ID commander was fired: Army air defense commander in Germany removed after short stint in charge | Stars and Stripes

I wonder what caused the investigation; there’s a big difference between commanding an HHC, where you’re basically just administrating over a HQ comprised of higher-ranking personnel, with maybe 10 or so organic company personnel (CO, XO, 1SG, Armorer, Supply, etc.), and commanding a battalion. It’s been over ten years, but Ackles was friendly and didn’t screw over troops, though he was also incredibly self-promoting. Within a couple weeks of deploying, he’d written and submitted his Bronze Star citation, and he was among the first to get a CAB for a rocket attack. He also earned the nickname “CPT Snackles” due to the large number of care packages he signed up to receive and then hoarded in his office.

Anonymous

Leading from the front– Me First!

So glad my branch improved after moving to Ft Sill and having to be around another combat arm.

Anonymous

P.S. No /sarc things are better. Saw this bumper sticker (recreated here) at Ft Bliss in 2004 and wanted to buy it so bad (because of morale, climate, etc.) but couldn’t find one

dont-tell-mom
Last edited 1 month ago by Anonymous
5JC

Between the Ukraine, Israel and other issues in the Middle East air defenders are emerging as heroes this year.

Anonymous

True that. And doing quite well, too.

fm2176

One of the guys I served briefly with in 3-15 IN was an ADA CPT turned SSG and knew CPT Ackles from a previous unit. He’d resigned his commission due to the command climate and other issues in the ADA unit. He was an outstanding Infantry Squad Leader, though I think he simply finished his obligation and ETS’d.

5JC

Lasers are cheap and easy to resource. The only logistical tale is spare parts. Israel has been using them for more than 10 years successfully.

Anonymous

Wave of the future– line it up with the target, get sufficient paint time and ka-boom.

5JC

It doesn’t take much. 30 years ago they had lasers that could burn through 3 in of aluminum aircraft armor at 20 mi. In about 3 seconds.

20 years ago the sensor capabilities against drones were not there, but they are today.

26Limabeans

Brings a whole new meaning to the term “light em up”.

RGR 4-78

Smoke em if you got em, on the way in.

SFC D

Can we get some sharks with frikkin’ lasers?

Someone had to ask.

Anonymous

…in essense a sophisticated heat beam we called a “laser”…

th-4
Anonymous

Then…

th-6
Last edited 1 month ago by Anonymous
Skivvy Stacker

Well, damnit!!
I was wondering why I couldn’t get any video of the 15 year old high school cheerleaders living next door!
Goddamn Army! Always ruining a old preverts fun!!!!