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Germany completes sea trials for laser weapon

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The German Navy has completed sea trials for its laser weapon demonstrator (LWD) onboard the Sachsen F-124 air-defense frigate.

The LWD completed more than 100 test firings over six sessions, proving its functionality under realistic operating conditions with different targets.

The demonstrator will be used to counter short-range threats from drones, drone swarms, speedboats, and missiles. Further updates could see it undergo performance upgrades to counter supersonic missiles, rockets, mortar, and artillery rounds.

A Welcome Upgrade

LWD manufacturer Rheinmetall shared details of the tests conducted to prove the system’s readiness.

“This included all aspects from detection and tracking (including highly agile targets); the interplay of sensors, command and weapon engagement systems and effectors; possible rules of engagement; and of course the successful engagement of targets with a high-energy laser beam,” the defense company said.

The weapon’s capabilities, including the shooting down of a drone, were shown to high-ranking representatives from Germany’s federal arms, defense, and military agencies.

Representatives from the British, Netherlands, and Norwegian Navy were also present.

Joining the Wave

The demonstrator is set to be transferred to Bundeswehr Technical Centre 91 in Meppen, where further risk-reduction tests and analyses will take place.

The LWD’s development coincides with many nations increasing development of laser capabilities.

Previously, the US announced the installation of its laser-based HELIOS system on the USS Preble, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

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