Tagged: Boeing

Boeing is building a laser cannon for the U.S. Army, and the new weapon has now proved it will be as capable at sea as on land. The High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD)—basically a high-energy laser mounted on top of a big truck—was successfully used to blast some UAV drones and 60mm mortars out of the Florida sky earlier this year, Boeing announced Thursday.

Phantom Ray

The flight only lasted 17 minutes at Edwards Airforce Base in California, but the drone reached 7,500 feet.  Further tests expect the 36,500 pound and 36 foot long craft to reach altitudes near 40,000 feet and race along at nearly the speed of sound (mach 0.85).  With a range of nearly1550 miles, this prototype is not something to dismiss.  The “Phantom Ray” is a stealthy unmanned combat craft being developed by Boeing.  The Ray is based on the X-45C prototype that Boeing originally developed for DARPA/US Airforce/US Navy. The project is being fully funded with Boeing Funds as the X-45C was not selected as DARPA’s/ UCAS program the X-47 built by Northrop Grumman won that contract.  Where exactly will this program go?  It’s really anyone’s guess at this point.

First Flight

The aircraft is expected to perform 10 test flights over six months.  Wireds Danger Room has several GREAT shots from the drones first flight.

Source: Wired, Wikipedia, Spectrum, DefenseTech