The US Army completed the “combat shoot-off” (CSO) of its first high-energy laser weapon prototype, manufacturer KBR revealed.
Soldiers executed a series of maneuvers involving multiple targets to assess the Stryker vehicle-mounted laser system’s capabilities.
The 50-watt mobile Directed Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense system is designed to provide “sustained counter-unmanned aircraft systems and counter-rocket, artillery, mortar firepower to the modern battlefield.” The system took two years to develop.
First Laser-based System For Army
The shoot-off marked the army’s first use of a laser-based system in a combat exercise.
The developers utilized the exercise to train soldiers in the system, “using a variety of modern training tools, including commercial gaming controllers and interactive, tablet-based three-dimensional models of the system.”
KBR Government Solutions President Byron Bright said, “Soldier-centered design throughout the prototyping effort is only the start.”
“The CSO demonstrated that Soldiers were able to rapidly learn how to operate the system and quickly demonstrate proficiency in target acquisition, aim point selection, and engagements thanks to state-of-the-art training utilizing immersive technology for the modern Soldier.”
The army announced that four laser-equipped Strykers would be delivered by April 2023.