Raytheon and a Lockheed Martin-Dynetics team are working to build a 100-kilowatt combat laser for the US Army, Defense News reported on August 7.
According to the report, the Army is going to one winner to integrate its laser system onto the Family of Medium-Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) in early 2019. The entire system is expected to be tested in 2022 at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
Defense News added that a contract to integrate the newly developed laser system to the FMTV is expected to be valued at $130 million.
In July, both Raytheon and Lockheed Martin-Dynetics announced that they had won $10 million contracts to develop a laser for the Army’s High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstration (HEL TVD) program.
“The HEL TVD program is a science and technology demonstration program that will work toward incorporating a laser into the Army’s Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 that aims to defend against rockets, artillery and mortars as well as cruise missiles and unmanned aircraft systems.
Laser weapons for platforms like IFPC Inc. 2 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,” Defense News says.
It’s interesting to note that the increase in the development of US laser weapons came following an announcement by Russian President Putin that the Russian military had already obtained a laser weapon system, which is already entering service.