The U.S. Army has awarded a contract for the rapid prototyping and fielding of a mobile directed energy weapon. The prototype system will consist of 50-kilowatt lasers mounted on a platoon of four wheeled Stryker vehicles as part of the Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) mission. M-SHORAD provides defense against airborne threats, such as unmanned aerial systems, helicopters, rockets, artillery, and mortars.
A $200 million, three-year contract was awarded to Kord Technologies, which itself awarded subcontracts to Raytheon and Northrop Grumman for laser weapon modules. Kord is also working with General Dynamics Land Systems, which makes the Stryker vehicle.
The directed-energy Strykers are expected to be available in fiscal year 2022.