US Army to Order 8 Prototype Stryker-Mounted Laser Weapons

The US Army will issue a request to aerospace firm Kord Technologies to develop enhanced prototypes of an air-defense laser weapon to be integrated into the Stryker armored combat vehicle.

To be issued by the service’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, the request will ask the defense company to produce eight prototypes of the Directed Energy Maneuver Short Range Air Defense (DE M-SHORAD) system.

The prototypes must maximize all lessons learned during the July combat shoot-off, where Kord and Raytheon Technologies demonstrated the capabilities of their sophisticated laser systems.

Furthermore, the DE M-SHORAD prototypes must have a design that reduces overall weight and increases maintainability. It must also reportedly possess 50 kilowatts of power for effective destruction of enemy aircraft and missiles.

Kord is expected to deliver the first batch of four DE M-SHORAD prototypes in 2023, while the remaining four will be handed over to the US Army in 2024.

Laser-equipped Stryker
A laser-equipped Stryker that participated in a combat shoot-off that took place in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Photo: Jim Kendall/US Army

Investments in Laser Weapons

In October, the US Army contracted a General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) – Boeing team to develop a 300-kilowatt laser-based air defense system, which would employ two Gen 7 laser heads “in a very compact and lightweight package.”

The US Army also requested various defense manufacturers develop a laser weapon system that emits an ultra-short burst of highly intense energy.

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