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  • Boeing Tests Humvee Laser
Oct 2007
ST. LOUIS, Oct. 16, 2007 -- The Boeing Co. said this week it has demonstrated that its Avenger-mounted laser system can neutralize improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and unexploded ordnance (IXP) that threaten US troops deployed in war zones.

During laser firings last month at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., the Laser Avenger engaged and destroyed five targets representing IED and UXO threats.

The device, equipped with a 1-kw solid-state laser, was effective at ranges that allowed it to be operated at safe distances from the target, Boeing said in a statement. It said it also demonstrated potential for counter-unmanned aerial vehicle capability by destroying two small, unmanned aerial vehicles that were stationary on the ground.

Laser Avenger is a Boeing-funded initiative to show that directed-energy weapons would be useful in the battlefield and are ready to be fielded. It is also the latest in a series of Boeing upgrades to expand the Avenger air defense system into an agile multirole weapon system (AMWS) with ground-to-ground and ground-to-air capability. Boeing said it developed the system in eight months and that it added the laser while retaining the Avenger's ability to carry other weapons, including missiles and a machine gun.

Gary Fitzmire, vice president and program director of Boeing Directed Energy Systems, said, "Boeing's investment strategy is to move some of its new directed-energy weapon systems into field demonstrations, and Laser Avenger is the first one we're rolling out. Laser Avenger provides the speed-of-light and ultraprecision capability that the warfighter needs today to safely neutralize improvised explosive devices and unexploded ordnance."

The laser segment of Laser Avenger will have uses beyond the counter-IED, counter-UXO mission. For instance, it could be upgraded to have a shoot-on-the-move capability and to destroy other kinds of targets, including low-flying unmanned aerial vehicles, Boeing said.

Also, Boeing announced today that Shep Hill has been named president of Boeing International, replacing Laurette Koellner, who is retiring. Mike Cave will replace replace Hill as senior vice president, business development and strategy, at Boeing's corporate offices. Cave formerly led marketing and business strategy at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The changes will be effective Nov. 1. Hill, 54, will remain a member of the Boeing executive council. Cave will join the company's executive council and be based in Chicago.

During Koellner's 30-year Boeing career, she served for two years as president, Connexion by Boeing, and managed several key company functions, including human resources and labor relations, and corporate philanthropy and social responsibility. She had been a member of the company's senior executive leadership team since 2001. Previously, she was corporate controller and was responsible for financial and cost accounting, cost policy, companywide cost estimating, common business systems, and insurance and risk management.

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