MBDA and ALPhANOV inaugurate a test laboratory for laser weapons in Bordeaux


On March 27, in Bordeaux (France), MBDA and ALPhANOV inaugurated their Common Vulnerability Test Facility (VTF).

This new structure, being developed by the 2016, is designed to test the effects of lasers on materials. To do this, the site uses laser power sources that can be adjusted from 1 to 10 kW and more measuring means (fast, visible and infrared imaging, pyrometers, thermocouples, etc.) to monitor the effects produced by lasers. This cooperation includes the completion of the VTF and its joint implementation for a period of 4 years.

The VTF has the ability to simulate many of the real-world conditions of a laser explosion in real life, including: imperfections to target a dynamic beam, use against crossing and rotation targets and complex interactions between the laser and the target materials, among others. This will allow to define the requirements for all the individual components of a laser weapon (laser source, aiming precision, beam focus, etc.) and the optimization of future laser system architectures against the various types of targets that can involve (aircraft, missiles, drones, bullets, optical sensors, vehicles, warships, etc.).

MBDA CEO Antoine Bouvier said: "By adding to MBDA's unique technical capabilities in Europe, the VTF can contribute to the ongoing projects we are conducting for our German and British customers, as it will allow us to specify our future laser weapons to meet the exact needs of our customers Military: This test facility represents a milestone in the path towards a complete mastery of laser weapons and strategic autonomy in this sector.This is the goal of MBDA, as well as the goal of our national nations, now shared by the Europe through its permanent structured cooperation policy. "