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Antimissile Laser Passes Field Test

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TRW Inc.'s Space & Electronics Group of Redondo Beach, Calif., reported that the Tactical High Energy Laser has passed its initial live-fire test at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The megawatt-class chemical laser destroyed an armed Katyusha rocket in flight, at a range of several miles.

The transportable system, which was produced for the US Army and the Israel Ministry of Defence, is designed to intercept short-range threats such as cruise missiles, rockets and mortar rounds. The deuterium fluoride laser consumes a few thousand dollars in chemicals with each shot, compared with up to $2 million per engagement for conventional, missile-based defenses.

Photonics Spectra
Jul 2000
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