A German industry partnership (ARGE) comprising MBDA Deutschland and Rheinmetall Waffe Munition has revealed the first operational tests of a laser weapon from a German warship.
Announcing the milestone on 27 October, Rheinmetall said that initial testing of the High-Energy Laser Naval Demonstrator against unmanned air vehicle (UAV) targets was performed in late August from the F124 air-defence frigate Sachsen in the Baltic.
Building on earlier prototype trials, Rheinmetall was, in mid-2020, contracted by Germany’s Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) to develop, build, and integrate a laser weapon demonstrator together with MBDA Deutschland.
Under the ARGE industrial partnership arrangement, Rheinmetall is taking overall responsibility for the laser weapon station, the beam director, cooling, and packaging of the laser weapon system. For its part, MBDA Deutschland has taken the lead for tracking, the operator’s console, and integrating the laser weapon demonstrator to the combat management system.