The US Army could have a laser weapon that can destroy explosive devices ready for frontline use within three years, army managers claim.

The claims follow succesful Boeing-army tests of the the Avenger prototype, a 1KW vehicle-mounted high-intensity laser that can destroy improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The prototype burns through bomb casings, detonating only part of the explosive material thereby reducing the damage they can cause.

Speaking to, Boeing’s high-energy laser and electro-optical programme director Lee Gutheinz says the explosive in the shell cooks off slowly through either melting or bubblingoff.

“It goes off in a low yield so you will typically only blow up 30 percent of the explosive,” he addds.

Army officials at Redstone Arsenal, US, are beleived to be working together with the Joint IED Defeat Organisation to acquire funding for more tests and prototypes.

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