Apache laser RAYTHEON

Is This Apache Laser The Future Of Warfare?

Apache laser RAYTHEON

Image courtesy: Raytheon.

The US Army has completed what it says is the first-ever successful flight test of its kind involving a laser being fired from a helicopter.

During a demonstration, an Apache AH-64 engaged and fired on a target from different altitudes and speeds, according to manufacturer Raytheon.

It is the first-ever successful flight test of a high energy laser system on a target from a rotary-wing aircraft.

The test involved an advanced electro-optical infrared sensor - a variant of a Multi-Spectral Targeting System (MTS) - with a laser that has a 1.4km firing range.

The MTS provides targeting intelligence, situational awareness and beam control.

It took place two months ago, at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

The collaboration between the US Army and Raytheon will influence the design of High Energy Laser systems in the future.

"Our goal is to pull the future forward," said Art Morrish, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems.

"This data collection shows we're on the right track.

"We can bring this capability to the battlefield sooner rather than later."

Apaches have carried laser systems since the helicopters were introduced into service more than two decades ago, however they were used to help guide Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, as opposed to the 'fully integrated system' being developed now.