US Army tests Raytheon/Kord 50kW-class high energy laser weapon
Raytheon Intelligence & Space announced on 16 May that the US Army concluded an operational assessment with the Raytheon/Kord 50kW-class high energy laser integrated on a Stryker combat vehicle at White Sands Missile Range (New Mexico).
In four weeks of continuous live-fire exercises, the directed-energy weapon system acquired, tracked, targeted and defeated multiple 60mm mortar rounds and accomplished multiple tests simulating real-world scenarios. This recent operational assessment also included defeating several small, medium and large drones.
The Raytheon/Kord 50kW-class high energy laser is part of the US Army's Directed Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (DE M-SHORAD) programme, which aims to protect soldiers against various aerial threats, including UASs, rotary-wing aircraft, rockets, artillery and mortars.
Kord serves as the primary integrator of the system on the Stryker combat vehicle, while Raytheon Intelligence & Space provides the 50kW-class high energy laser weapon module, a specialized radar acquisition system, a beam control system and a targeting sensor.
The joint industry team — which includes Rocky Research for power and thermal management, General Dynamics Land Systems for the Stryker platform, and Applied Technology Associates for additional sensors — is preparing to deliver four DE M-SHORAD units to Army Brigade Combat Teams in 2022.
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