BAE Systems, Boeing and the U.S. Navy recently conducted a successful test of the Mk 38 MOD 2 Tactical Laser System concept, a proposed high energy laser addition to the Mk 38 naval gun systems that are currently deployed on most surface combatants.
The results of the field testing, conducted at Eglin Air Force Base in Eglin, Fla., demonstrated a capability to identify and classify hostile targets and provide rapid hand-off to the Mobile Active Targeting Resource for Integrated Experiments (MATRIX) system for interdiction. Swarm tests were also conducted to simulate an attack by a large number of fast, maneuvering small boats, intermingled with neutral boat traffic.
“The success of this testing exceeded all expectations and demonstrates that our Mk 38 TLS has the potential to deliver an important ship self defense capability,” said Mark Signorelli, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems for BAE Systems. “The optics associated with control of the laser allow significantly greater capability in target identification, the ability to conduct precision tracking and engagement, and provide the option of non-lethal engagements, which are critical features to enhance ship defenses.”