At the ILA show in Berlin in late May, MBDA Deutschland unveiled a high-energy laser effector that can be mounted on marine and land-based platforms to provide a 360° defence against agile targets such as UAVs, rockets and mortar shells.
MBDA Deutschland has been working on laser effectors for some time and has demonstrated their capabilities in multiple trials against shells, UAVs and other targets.
“We have achieved substantial results – also when compared with other international efforts,” said the company’s head of sales and business development, Peter Heilmeier.
“Laser weapons have the potential for being deployed wherever an immediate danger needs to be combated at very close range: for instance, the protection of military camps, checkpoints and convoys. In the naval sector, laser effector systems could feature in both onboard ship and port protection. MBDA’s new laser effector is a further important step towards an operationally deployable system.” MBDA has developed a system that uses standardised interfaces to allow its application to many platforms. Its advanced mirror optics provide for rapid and stable tracking across a 360° arc, and rapid engagement. The short engagement time allows the system to tackle swarming threats, such as multidirectional UAV attacks. As well as a high accuracy for engagement, the system features low logistic costs and scalability of effect.
Also at ILA, MBDA Deutschland and industrial partner Rheinmetall unveiled a new system concept for an on-the-move air defence system aimed at providing close-range protection against UAVs and other low, slow, small air threats.
Utilising components and subsystems that are already in production, the new modular system employs a unified system architecture for connecting sensors and effectors.
As conceived, the system could integrate MBDA’s Mistral short-range missile with the Rheinmetall MPCS turret as a successor to Stinger-based systems. The system could be easily installed on several platforms, including the German Boxer vehicle. As well as providing rapid-reaction air defence for mobile escort protection duties, the system includes command and control/ reconnaissance capability.
MBDA Deutschland and Rheinmetall also suggested that the system could be networked as an element of an integrated air defence system. For instance, it could integrate seamlessly with the TLVS (Taktisches Luftverteidigungssystem) that is being implemented by Germany with the Lockheed Martin/ MBDA MEADS equipment.
The complete TLVS system was shown in public for the first time at ILA, including the launcher for the Diehl Iris-T SL missile that augments the MEADS interceptor.