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The U.S. Army’s groundbreaking, directed energy program, the High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator (HEL TD), had its first official close-up on Monday in Huntsville, Ala., when a group of local journalists were given an inside look at the newly integrated system at the Boeing Jetplex. "This is a very exciting day, representing four years of very hard work not only by the team present today, but also decades of innovation and talent," said Mike Rinn, vice president, Boeing Directed Energy Systems. Boeing recently completed installation of key components of HEL TD at Boeing facilities in Huntsville. The beam control system, optical system and other critical hardware are now fully incorporated onto the Oshkosh Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck, HEL TD’s vehicle platform. With this milestone, HEL TD is ready to move from the laboratory into the field for real-world testing. The objective of the HEL TD program is to demonstrate that a mobile, solid-state, laser weapon system can effectively counter rocket, artillery and mortar projectiles. Low-power system testing, scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2011 at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, will demonstrate the system’s ability to acquire, track and target these projectiles. HEL TD is an integral part of Boeing’s push to expend its core competency in the field of directed energy, a business where the company is developing revolutionary capabilities in order to make changes necessary to grow and effectively compete.