In four weeks of continuous live-fire exercises, an industry team led by Raytheon and KBR subsidiaries defeated multiple 60mm mortar rounds with a 50kW-class high energy laser integrated on a Stryker combat vehicle.
CAPTION: A 50 kilowatt-class laser mounted on a US Army Stryker vehicle during a live-fire exercise at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. Photo courtesy US Army.
The directed energy weapon system — part of the US Army’s Directed Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense, or DE M-SHORAD — acquired, tracked, targeted and defeated multiple mortars and successfully accomplished multiple tests simulating real-world scenarios.
Continuing to put the DE M-SHORAD system to the test, the recent operational assessment at White Sands Missile Range also included defeating several small, medium and large drones.
President of Electronic Warfare Systems for Raytheon Intelligence & Space Annabel Flores said soldiers in the field faced increasingly complex threats, and [the] combat-proven sensors, software and lasers were ready to give them a new level of protection.
“The Army gave us our toughest challenge yet — countering rockets, artillery and mortars — and we took an essential step on the path to providing the maneuverable, short-range air defence that soldiers need,” she said.
The DE M-SHORAD effort is aimed at protecting soldiers against various aerial threats, including unmanned aircraft systems, rotary-wing aircraft, rockets, artillery and mortars.
KBR subsidiary Kord is the primary integrator of the system on the Stryker combat vehicle, while Raytheon Intelligence & Space provides the 50kW-class high energy laser weapon module, a specialised radar acquisition system, a beam control system and targeting sensor.
President of KBR Government Solutions Byron Bright said the team once again showed that the HEL system was fully-integrated and ready to provide protection against complex threats.
“With an effectively infinite magazine and near-zero cost per shot, HEL is now the proven answer to asymmetric threats like drones and mortars,” Mr Bright said.
The joint industry team, which includes Rocky Research for power and thermal management, General Dynamics Land Systems for the Stryker platform, and Applied Technology Associates for additional sensors, is preparing to deliver four DE M-SHORAD units to Army Brigade Combat Teams in 2022.
RI&S’ high energy laser weapon systems works on land, in the air and at sea, providing 360-degree coverage that can protect bases, airports, stadiums and other high-value military or civilian assets.
Open architecture, scalable power, and ruggedised design adapts to the demands of the mission.
HEL weapons can be used as standalone systems or rapidly installed on a variety of platforms.