Saturday, June 15, 2024

Stryker-mounted high-energy laser can defeat multiple mortars, large drones

Raytheon Intelligence & Space is producing 50kW-class high-energy laser systems that can track and defeat enemy drones, mortar rounds, and other dangerous targets right out of the sky. The directed energy weapon system mounted on a U.S. Army Stryker combat vehicle was recently successfully tested at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

During the four weeks of continuous live-fire tests, the team led by Raytheon Intelligence & Space and Kord defeated multiple 60 mm mortar rounds with the directed energy weapon system. The high-energy laser acquired, tracked, targeted, and defeated multiple 60 mm mortars and successfully accomplished multiple tests simulating real-world scenarios.

The 50kW-class high energy laser weapon is a part of the U.S. Army’s Directed Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense, or DE M-SHORAD. Continuing to put the DE M-SHORAD system to the test, the recent operational assessment also included defeating several small, medium, and large drones.

“Soldiers in the field face increasingly complex threats, and our combat-proven sensors, software, and lasers are ready to give them a new level of protection,” said Annabel Flores, president of Electronic Warfare Systems for Raytheon Intelligence & Space. “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 defense Soldiers need.”

The DE M-SHORAD effort aims to protect soldiers against various aerial threats, including unmanned aircraft systems, rotary-wing aircraft, rockets, artillery, and mortars. Kord serves as the primary integrator of the system on the Stryker combat vehicle, while Raytheon Intelligence and Space provides the 50kW-class high energy laser weapon module, a specialized radar acquisition system, a beam control system, and a targeting sensor.

The high-energy weapon systems work on the 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. It can be used as a standalone system or rapidly installed on a variety of platforms. The team is preparing to deliver four DE M-SHORAD units to Army Brigade Combat Teams in 2022.