This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
Laser weapons will protect armored vehicles on-the-move and forward operating bases. The US Army and General Dynamics Land Systems are developing a Stryker-mounted laser weapon aimed at better arming the armored vehicle to incinerate enemy drones or threatening ground targets. The effort marks the first-ever integration of an Army laser weapon onto a combat vehicle.
According to scout.com, the laser will be integrated into the Fire Support Vehicle Stryker variant designed for target tracking and identification.
Concept vehicles are now being engineered and tested at the Army’s Ft. Sill artillery headquarters as a way to quickly develop the weapon for operational service. During a test this past April, the laser weapons successfully shot down 21 out of 23 enemy drone targets.
“The idea is to provide a solution to a capability gap which is an inability to acquire, track and destroy low, slow drones that proliferate all over the world,” Tim Reese, director of strategic planning, told Scout Warrior in an interview. The weapon is capable of destroying Group 1 and Group 2 small and medium-sized drones, Reese added.
General Dynamics Land Systems is now working on upgrading the power of the laser from two kilowatts of power to five kilowatts. The laser weapon system uses its own tracking radar to acquire targets in the event that other sensors on the vehicle are disabled in combat and has an electronic warfare jamming system intended to jam the signal of enemy drones.
The fire-control technology integrated into the laser weapon is made by Boeing. The laser is also integrated with air-defense and field artillery networks.
It is anticipated that the new weapon will be able to fire an 18-kilowatt laser from the Stryker by 2018.
The US Army is planning to deploy laser weapons able to protect Forward Operating Bases (FOB) by rapidly incinerating and destroying approaching enemy drones, artillery rounds, mortars and cruise missiles, according to service leaders.
The emerging weapons are being engineered into a program called Indirect Fire Protection Capability, or IFPC Increment 2. Through this program, the Army plans to fire lasers to protect forward bases by 2023 as part of an integrated system of technologies, sensors and weapons designed to thwart incoming attacks.