Air Defense: Avenger Gets a Ray Gun


October 19, 2007: The U.S. has successfully tested an Avenger anti-aircraft system equipped with a one KW (kilowatt) laser (PHOTO). The U.S. Army developed the Avenger system, which is a hummer armed with Stinger surface-to-air missiles, a .50 caliber machinegun, radar and laser range finder. The hummer has a turret mounted on the back that contains two missile pods (each containing four Stinger anti-aircraft missiles). Under one pod there is an M3P .50 caliber machine gun. The weapons operator has use of a FLIR (night vision) and a laser range finder. The one KW laser was added to the turret, and was able to destroy two small UAVs (on the ground, later tests will try it against airborne UAVs). Most importantly, the laser was able to detonate IEDs and unexploded ordnance (shells and bombs).

The Avenger machine-gun can't be depressed sufficiently to fire at ground targets towards the front of the vehicle. The Stinger has a range of 4.5 kilometers. Effective range of the .50 caliber machine-gun is more like two kilometers. The "Laser Avenger" was developed in only eight months. No information was released on the effective range of the laser against IEDs, but it was sufficient to keep the crew out of harms way. The one kilowatt laser is more in demand as a standalone weapon, mounted on engineer vehicles (that hunt IEDs) or the lead vehicle in a convoy (so as to get IEDs out of the way quickly.) But the Avenger's manufacturer is also interested in boosting sales of the anti-aircraft system.


Article Archive

Air Defense: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close