Rheinmetall Waffe Munition has worked since 30 years in the area of High Energy Laser (HEL) for defence applications, starting from pulsed CO<sub>2</sub> to pulsed glass rods lasers. In the last decade Rheinmetall Waffe Munition changed to diode pumped solid state laser (DPSSL) technology and has successfully developed, realised and tested a variety of versatile HEL weapon demonstrators for air- and ground defence scenarios like countering rocket, artillery, mortar, missile (RAMM), unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and unexploded ordnances clearing. By employing beam superimposing technology and a modular laser weapon concept, the total optical power has been successively increased. Stationary weapon platforms, military vehicles and naval platforms have been equipped with high energy laser effectors. The contribution gives a summary of the most recent development stages of Rheinmetalls HEL weapon program. In addition to the stationary 30 kW laser weapon demonstrator, we present vehicle based HEL demonstrators: the 5 kW class Mobile HEL Effector Track V, the 20 kW class Mobile HEL Effector Wheel XX and the 50 kW class Mobile HEL Effector Container L and the latest 10 kW HEL effector integrated in the naval weapon platform MLG 27. We describe the capabilities of these demonstrators against different potential targets. Furthermore, we will show the capability of the 30 kW stationary Laser Weapon Demonstrator integrated into an existing ground based air defence system to defeat saturated attacks of RAMM and UAS targets.
For some years Rheinmetall Waffe Munition has successfully developed, realised and tested a variety of versatile high
energy laser (HEL) weapon systems for air- and ground-defence scenarios like C-RAM, UXO clearing. By employing
beam superimposition technology and a modular laser weapon concept, the total optical power has been successively
increased. Stationary weapon platforms and now military mobile vehicles were equipped with high energy laser
effectors. Our contribution summarises the most recent development stages of Rheinmetalls high energy laser weapon
program. We present three different vehicle based HEL demonstrators: the 5 kW class Mobile HEL Effector Track V
integrated in an M113 tank, the 20 kW class Mobile HEL Effector Wheel XX integrated in a multirole armoured vehicle
GTK Boxer 8x8 and the 50 kW class Mobile HEL Effector Container L integrated in a reinforced container carried by an
8x8 truck. As a highlight, a stationary 30 kW Laser Weapon Demonstrator shows the capability to defeat saturated
attacks of RAM targets and unmanned aerial vehicles. 2013 all HEL demonstrators were tested in a firing campaign at
the Rheinmetall testing centre in Switzerland. Major results of these tests are presented.
We will present the setup of a 50 kW Laser Weapon Demonstrator (LWD) and results achieved with this system. The LWD is a ground based Air Defence system consisting of a Skyguard sensor unit for target acquisition and two laser equipped weapon turrets. The weapon turrets used are standard air defence turrets of Rheinmetall Air Defence which were equipped with several 10 kW Laser Weapon Modules (LWM). Each LWM consists of one 10 kW fiber laser and a beam forming unit (BFU). Commercial of the shelf fiber laser were modified for our defence applications. The BFU providing diffraction limited beam focusing, target imaging and fine tracking of the target was developed. The LWD was tested in a firing campaign at Rheinmetall test ground in Switzerland. All laser beams of both weapon turrets were superimposed on stationary and dynamic targets. Test results of the LWD for the scenarios Air Defence and C-RAMM (counter rockets, artillery, mortar and missiles) will be presented. An outlook for the next development stage towards a 100 kW class laser weapon on RWM will be given.
The paper will give an overview over the laser weapon activities at RWM (Rheinmetall Waffe Munition) over the last years. Starting from the actual scenarios for laser weapon applications as: CRAM (Counter Rocket Artillery Mortar), Air Defence and UXO (unexploded ordnance) clearing. The basic requirements of a future laser weapon as beam diameter, beam quality, tracking capability, adaptive optics were deduced.<p> </p>For the UXO scenario a mobile directed energy laser demonstrator for humanitarian mine and UXO clearing based on fiber lasers is presented. Based on the parameters the system concept including the cooling system, power supply and the integration into the armoured vehicle TM 170 are explained. The contribution show first experiments of UXO and IED clearing.<p> </p>Different technical approaches to achieve laser power in the 100 kW regime combined with very good beam quality are discussed to fulfil the requirements of the CRAM and Air Defence scenario. Spectral coupling and the beam superimposing both are performed by Rheinmetall Waffe Munition.<p> </p>At the spectral coupling the basic technology parameters for the fiber laser and the dielectric grating as the latest results were put into context with the power levels reached at other groups.<p> </p>For the beam super imposing technology the basic experiments regarding the tracking capability and compensation of the atmosphere on the test range at Unterlüß will be explained.<p> </p>A generic 10 kW Laser Weapon Demonstrator based on 2 Laser Weapon Modules (LWM) from RWM each 5 kW fiber Laser with beam forming and tracking integrate by the team of RWM and RAD (Rheinmetall Air Defense) into a Ground based Air Defend system consisting of Skyguard and Millenium turret are presented.<p> </p>The flight path of the UAV within the valley of the life firing range at Ochsenboden Switzerland is shown. Selected results of the successful tests against UAV’s are presented. It shows the capability of the generic 10 kW Laser Weapon Demonstrator to track and to destroy the target. <p> </p>From these results the next steps of Rheinmetall Waffe Munition for a 100 kW class laser weapon are explained.