Air Defense: January 27, 2002


The US Army is studying lasers as an element of its new Enhanced Area Air Defense program (part of the "Objective Force"). If it proves possible to build one, the Army wants to build a man-portable multi-shot rechargeable solid-state laser to replace the Stinger missile in the point defense role. Current air defenses are a mix of guns and missiles, and the Army expects that by 2010 it will be fielding an air defense force including SLAMRAAM (an AIM-120 AMRAAM missile fired from a Humvee truck) and lasers. Such a laser would have to be capable of firing at least three shots from a capacitor/magazine, with such magazines able to be swapped in seconds and recharged in under an hour.--Stephen V Cole


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