German tank manufacturer Rheinmetall has announced the completion of a series of comprehensive trials of a new weapon station armed with laser.
Trials were carried out at the company’s Ochsenboden test centre near Zürich, Switzerland, in December.
Featuring architecture that is closely related to the MANTIS air defence system, the new weapon station has four key components, namely a laser source, beam director with the telescope, and coarse tracker (weapon station).
It has an accurate mechanical aiming function combined with 360° traversing zone and more than 270° elevation range.
During testing, the weapon station with laser displayed its speed and precision, as well as engaged drones and mortar rounds.
According to the company, the weapon station can be armed with up to 100kW output power range lasers. Currently, the company is developing a 20kW laser source planned for integration on to the system.
In a statement, the company said: “The laser weapon station is the latest stage and logical continuation of the process in which Rheinmetall has transformed laser weapon technology into a fully functional weapon system.
“The mobile weapon station performs the task of mechanically aiming the laser toward the target. Now that a weapon station specially designed to meet the requirements of a laser weapon station has been successfully realised, Rheinmetall has all of the principal assemblies for a future laser weapon system at its own disposal.”
The laser weapon station can be used on military platforms of all types and deployed to perform ground, air and naval operations, the company noted.