Raytheon Intelligence & Space
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Laser Weapons Provide Mobile Stryker Defense

Sept. 16, 2021
While packing a 50-kW laser, this directed-energy system also fits the mobile requirements of a U.S. Army Stryker all-terrain vehicle.

The U.S. Army is looking to Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S) to arm three Stryker combat vehicles with high-energy laser weapons systems by 2022. The 50-kW systems will be deployed by means of a $123 million contract as part of the Army’s Directed Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (DE M-SHORAD) program. RI&S is operating as a subcontractor in an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) agreement between the Army and KBR subsidiary Kord, which is based in Huntsville, AL. The field-ready systems will provide a combination of lethal laser power and the size and efficiency required to maintain Stryker mobility.

Annabel Flores, vice-president for electronic warfare (EW) systems at RI&S, said: “The U.S. Army is leading the charge to give soldiers the first-ever operational capability of a mobile high-energy laser weapon.” She added: “Two years ago, the Army set a goal to deliver a powerful, maneuverable and proven laser system that was ready for operators to use in the field right away, and our team demonstrated that capability.” RI&S, which has previously delivered high-energy laser weapons systems to the U.S. Air Force, earned the contract following a summer shoot-off at Fort Sill, OK to establish system requirements and the company’s capabilities to meet those requirements. During the shoot-off, soldiers operated the RI&S laser system, tracking, identifying, and engaging different targets. Flores explained: “In just a few days, soldiers went from training to operating the system and engaging targets to providing valuable feedback to our team that will help improve future systems.”

The weapons system features a 50-kW laser, a beam director, an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) target acquisition and tracking system and a multiple-mission radar system. In addition to use on all-terrain vehicles (see the figure), future variants of the directed-energy weapon are expected to be deployed on different forms of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and be capable of performing as a counter UAS system. The DE M-SHORAD contract work will be performed at the RI&S facility in McKinney, TX. RI&S is a business unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp.

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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