Boeing [BA] yesterday said it recently completed system integration of key components for the Army’s High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator (HEL TD).

The integration included installation of the Beam Control System and critical hardware onto the Oshkosh [OSK] Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck, HEL TD’s vehicle platform.

This milestone helps prepare HEL TD for low-power system testing at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., currently scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2011. The tests will demonstrate the system’s ability to acquire, track and target moving projectiles. The system includes mirrors, high-speed processors and high-speed optical sensors.

“Now that HEL TD is fully assembled, we are ready to take this program from the lab into the field for real-world tests,” said Mike Rinn, vice president, Boeing Directed Energy Systems. “Our team is eager to demonstrate the ultra-precision, speed-of-light benefits of multi-mission directed energy technologies, which will help the Army effectively and efficiently counter a variety of threats including rockets, artillery, mortars and UAVs. Boeing is committed to providing this advanced capability to the warfighter, and we appreciate the confidence that the Army has shown in our efforts on this program.”

The HEL TD system integration was done at the Boeing facilities in Huntsville, Ala., where Boeing integrates other systems on Army vehicles. The work began in November (Defense Daily, Nov. 2)

“We are applying the best of Boeing to deliver this groundbreaking technology to the warfighter as soon as possible,” said Blaine Beardsley, Boeing HEL TD program manager.

In operation, HEL TD will acquire, track and select an aimpoint on a target. Next, the system will receive the laser beam from the HEL TD laser device, reshape and align the beam, and then focus it on the target.

HEL TD is a cornerstone of the Army’s high-energy laser program and will support the transition of directed energy technologies to Army acquisition programs.

The Army HEL TD system is managed by the Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command headquarters at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.

Boeing is the largest aerospace company in Alabama and one of the state’s largest employers. Current company operations in Huntsville include the Ground-based Midcourse Defense program and other missile defense work, including the Standard Missile-3 Block IIB program, the Arrow system and the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 seeker, as well as work associated with Ares I, the International Space Station, Army Integrated Logistics, Brigade Combat Team Modernization, and engineering for the 787 and the P-8A Poseidon.