Members of the USASMDC/ARSTRAT Technical Center's Air and Missile Defense Directorate participated in the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization, or JIDO, UAS Hard-Kill Challenge at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, from Feb. 27 to March 3. During the challenge, the Mobile Expeditionary High Energy Laser 2.0, or MEHEL 2.0, demonstrated its counter-unmanned aircraft system, or C-UAS, capability.
"The purpose of the JIDO UAS Hard-Kill Challenge was to assess and look at technology … to do a 'hard-kill' shoot down of Group 1 [unmanned aircraft systems] and inform decision-makers on the current state of technology and how it can deal with single and multiple targets," said Adam Aberle, SMDC High Energy Laser Division technology development and demonstration lead.
MEHEL is a laser testbed on a Stryker-armored fighting vehicle chassis and serves as a platform for research and development. MEHEL 2.0 is an improved version of the original MEHEL with a laser upgraded from 2kW to 5kW and other added C-UAS capabilities.