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Laser weapons for mobile, ground-based weapon system designed to defeat unmanned aircraft systems and cruise missiles like the IFPC Inc. 2 (Indirect Fire Protection Capability) are being hotly pursued because regular interceptors quickly run out and are expensive. A laser weapon will have a much larger number of shots depending on power availability and would be far less expensive to fire at a threat than a missile, as evaluated by defensenews.com.
An experimental 100 kW laser weapon system will be developed for the US Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV). The new development will be part of the High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstrator (HEL TVD) program.
A group of companies led by Dynetics was selected for this $130 million project, after beating out Raytheon in a head-to-head competition. “High energy laser weapons have been a system that the United States has wanted to add into their defense portfolio since the invention of the laser,” said Ronnie Chronister, Dynetics’ senior vice-president of contracts. “We are glad to be selected to build this new and safe weapon system that will provide a simple, yet cost-effective approach in theatre.”
In 2018, the army selected Dynetics and its partners – Lockheed Martin, Rolls-Royce, and MZA Associates Corporation – and Raytheon to move into the HEL TVD preliminary design phase.
Under the new contract, the Dynetics team is selected to prepare for the critical design review, which will determine the final laser design.
The system will be built and integrated onto a 6×6 FMTV for field testing at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
This effort is part of the service’s latest venture into directed-energy weapons and is designed to help the service counter rocket, artillery, and mortar (RAM) attacks, as well as unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), as reported by janes.com.