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Northrop Grumman Maritime Laser Demonstrator (MLD) Shipborne High-Energy Laser (HEL) Tested Successfully: Next Stop, Somali Pirates!

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By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com

April 16, 2011

DefenseReview (DR) recently published a short piece on the SPA Defense/XADS TR3 Laser Rifle for ship defense/anti-piracy ops, which is a rather powerful, yet non-lethal, green laser (visible laser) weapon meant to temporarily blind, disorient, and disrupt the enemy. The TR3 would appear to be an effective and useful weapon, but it’s also nice to have a lethal laser weapon for situations where maritime force must be escalated.

Enter the Northrop Grumman Maritime Laser Demonstrator (MLD) high-energy laser (HEL), a shipborne tactical laser weapon that was recently fired from a U.S. Navy warship at a target vessel (boat), effectively destroying one of its outboard engines by burning right through the metal. The MLD is essentially a repurposed version of Northrop’s Joint High Power Solid-State Laser (JHPSSL) Program.

The MLD, of course, reminds Defense Review of the Boeing ATL (Advanced Tactical Laser), which the U.S. Air Force tested back in Ocober 2010. The ATL was fired through a truck’s engine hood from a Lockheed NC-130H aircraft.

The implications of the April 6 (2011) maritime test, conducted by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) (and Northrop Grumman) are obvious. It only stands to reason that shipborne tactical laser weapons will most likely eventually augment and replace missiles and guns (cannon) on U.S. military warships for line-of-sight interdiction and neutralization of enemy targets.

Somali pirates had better watch their step!

By the way, DR is curious as to how that developmental electromagnetic rail gun prototype at the Institute for Advanced Technology (IAT) Electromagnetic Systems Division at the University of Texas at Austin is coming along.

Company and Organization Contact Info:

Northrop Grumman
Aerospace Systems
1 Space Park
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
Headquarters Phone: 310-553-6262

Office of Naval Research
Corporate Strategic Communications
875 N. Randolph St., #1225-D
Arlington, Va. 22203.1771
Office: (703) 696.5031
Fax: (703) 696.5940
Email: [email protected]

© Copyright 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without receiving permission and providing proper credit and appropriate links.

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SPA Defense/XADS TR3 Laser Rifle for Ship Defense/Anti-Piracy Operations: Hit ‘em with the Big Green Laser Beam!

Lasing Skulls in the Digital Age: Tactical Laser Weapons Finally Maturing for Future Warfare Applications: Meet the Boeing ATL (Advanced Tactical Laser) Airborne Laser Weapon

Manpackable Laser Weapons on the Way for U.S. Military’s Future Soldiers?

IAT Electromagnetic Systems Division Developing Rail Gun Tech for U.S. Military

Northrop Grumman Maritime Laser Demonstrator (MLD) Shipborne High-Energy Laser (HEL) Tested Successfully: Next Stop, Somali Pirates! by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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