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Geostrategy-Direct, , November 8, 2006

WASHINGTON – Two companies are cooperating to market a laser system to
defeat roadside bombs.

The state-owned Rafael, Israel Armament Development Authority and General
Dynamics are partnering to introduce an ordnance neutralization system into
the United States. Executives said the Thor system would use directed energy
from a laser to clear unexploded ordnance and improvised explosive devices.

“The directed energy from the laser may also be used to ignite combustible
materials, as a standoff cutting torch, and for other combat purposes,”
General Dynamics said in a statement.

Thor combines a high-energy laser and an M2 12.7-mm machine gun to destroy
IEDs. The weapons are mounted on a stabilized weapons pedestal with a remote
operator control station. General Dynamics produces the M2.

“The M2 machine gun ultimately provides accurate, direct fire upon enemy
forces and targets in either an offensive or defensive role,” General
Dynamics said.

Thor includes day/night-sighting sensors to detect suspected ordnance. The
system can be fitted on a range of vehicle platforms. Rafael and General
Dynamics are also partnering to sell explosive reactive armor to the U.S.

Thor has been deployed in tactical combat operations.

“The kinetic energy from the 12.7-mm bullet fired by the M2 functions as a
standoff disrupter, destroying fuzing, thick-cased munitions and booby
traps, also enabling distancing explosive hazards away from the force
route,” the company said.


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