Laser test vehicle from the 70s (MTU?)


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3 June 2011
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This was being tested around the time of the Airborne Laser Laboratory. As I recall they talk about MTU in the book "The New High Ground: Strategies and Weapons of Space-Age War " and mention it shooting down TOW missiles.


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Interesting ! there were also a German project on Leopard chassis with an extandable arm carrying an aiming mirror so it could shoot at ground target. More recently I think I have seen another artist impression for an Israeli lasgun tank ...

'nother picture of the MTU


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MTU (1975)MTU (Mobile Test Unit) a 30 kW electrically-excited CO2 laser built by the U.S. It was housed in a Marine Corps LVTP-7 tracked landing vehicle. Reportedly destroyed winged and helicopter target drones in tests, but results were reported inconclusive.
Supposedly they also downed a couple TOWs with it as well.
LVTP-7 MTU color picture.
Artist's concept of a Laser Air Defense Weapon
Well I imagine the amtrac provides a lot of room for everything the laser needs. Definitely shows how far militarization of lasers has come since then (or some saying about battlefield laser weapons always being five years out if you're more cynical).
The Google translated Russian article at https://militaryarticle-ru.translat...tr_sl=ru&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=sc has more details on the MTU, and states:
"US Army in the 1970s was interested in creating laser weapons to destroy enemy aircraft, helicopters and tactical guided missiles, and it was required that the installation with laser weapons be close in size to a tank. In 1973, work began on the creation of a mobile laser weapon system, called the Mobile Test Unit (MTU). In 1975, the system was mounted on a floating tracked armored personnel carrier of the Marine Corps LVTP-7.

An electric-discharge cw CO2 laser with a power of 10-15 kW (according to other sources, several tens of kilowatts), developed by Avco, with a Perkin-Elmer aiming and tracking system, was supplied with energy from an installed additional gas turbine generator. Radiators were installed in the sides on both sides of the turbine to remove heat from the laser to the atmosphere. Prior to airborne demonstrations, the MTU was tested on rough terrain to see how well the high-energy laser and guidance system components could withstand the vibrations, shocks, and shocks of being transported over poor roads...

In the mid 1970s. the power of a continuous CO2 laser on a tracked chassis was increased to 30-40 kW (according to other sources, up to 50 kW), and the US Army conducted an experiment in 1975, during which an unmanned aircraft and a helicopter were shot down by a laser beam. In 1976, the MTU laser installation was again successfully tested at the arsenal's test site, during which firing at air targets was carried out. As a result, two radio-controlled aerial targets MQM-61 "Cardinal", flying at a speed of 480 km / h, and several target helicopters were shot down, the flight altitude of one of them was about 300 m."

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