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31 2000








A laser based defence system being developed by the US and Israel to protect Israeli settlements in the North of the country successfully brought down two Katyusha rockets during tests earlier this week at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

The Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL) demonstrator tracked and destroyed a salvo of two Katyusha rockets. This test was the follow-on to the successful single rocket shootdown test of June 6.This test was the first time the THEL system shot down multiple rockets in the air at the same time.

THEL destroys a Katyusha rocket


In July 1996, the US Department of Defense (DoD) and the Israeli Ministry of Defense signed a memorandum of agreement which spelled out the development and functional testing of a THEL demonstrator. The THEL consists of subsystems that include a laser, a pointer-tracker, a command, control, communications, and intelligence (C3I) centre, and a fire control radar. TRW is the prime contractor.

More trials are due, the next early in September. After additional development, testing and evaluation, the demonstrator will be available for shipment to Israel.

Defense Systems Daily, 31.08.2000