Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Lockheed Martin achieves first light of 50 kW DEIMOS laser weapon

The U.S. defense company Lockheed Martin has achieved “first light” from the Directed Energy Interceptor for Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense System (DEIMOS) system. The demonstration verified that the laser’s optical performance parameters align with the system design parameters, the company said on Monday.

Lockheed Martin’s 50 kW-class DEIMOS system – designed to meet U.S. Army’s modernization strategy – is a ruggedized, tactical laser weapon system that can be integrated into the Stryker combat vehicle to deliver robust directed energy capability to the U.S. Army’s challenging maneuver-short range air defense (M-SHORAD) mission.

“The 50 kW-class laser weapon system brings another critical piece to help ensure the U.S. Army has a layered air defense capability,” said Rick Cordaro, vice president of Lockheed Martin Advanced Product Solutions. “DEIMOS has been tailored from our prior laser weapon successes to affordably meet the Army’s larger modernization strategy for air and missile defense and to improve mission success with 21st Century Security solutions.”

The first light demonstration of Lockheed Martin’s DEIMOS is a crucial milestone along the path to helping the Army perform its DE M-SHORAD mission. The mission is intended to deliver a maneuverable laser system capable of negating unmanned aerial systems, rotary-wing aircraft, rockets, artillery, and mortars. First, light measures the expected beam quality of the system while testing the end-to-end performance of our game-changing, low-cost Spectral Beam Combination (SBC) architecture.

The company plans to expand the DEIMOS test program in 2023, culminating with field integration tests in 2024. This thorough approach is designed to reduce risk, enable soldier touchpoints, and provide proof points of compelling mission capabilities.

The Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) is leading the DE M-SHORAD prototyping effort and is expected to transition the program to the Program Executive Office (PEO) Missiles & Space in 2024.