(ORDO NEWS) — The US Army this year will receive a Stryker combat vehicle from Raytheon Corporation, equipped with a laser capable of dealing with a variety of threats. Its power will be 50 kilowatts. Previously, such weapons have found their application on the ships of the US Navy.
The first set of Stryker combat vehicles equipped with 50-kilowatt laser weapons will be delivered to Fort Sill, Oklahoma by the end of September. It is reported by Defense News.
The military named their short-range air defense system the Guardian. Last spring, at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, its prototype was tested against various UAVs, missiles, artillery shells and artillery mines. The Army wants to conduct additional tests this month. The tests will last until the beginning of February.
The servicemen have already conveyed to the command some comments about the operation of the system. Based on this feedback, the developers have made improvements to the Guardian.
Raytheon’s competition in developing a laser module for the US Army was another defense giant, Northrop Grumman. However, he had technical difficulties: during the tests at the end of last year, a fire started. The problems persisted into 2022, so Northrop dropped out ahead of the demo.
The Raytheon team successfully began demonstrating their system, and the military decided to use its prototypes. The company has already received a contract for the supply of complexes in the amount of 123 million dollars.
Laser weapons use laser beams as a damaging agent or element. Prototypes of such systems have been developed by various states and companies since the 1960s and 1970s.
Raytheon is among the leaders in this direction. Previously, its specialists created a combat laser for equipping AH-64 Apache attack helicopters by order of the US Department of Defense. In 2017, successful tests of the system were reported at the White Sands missile range.
It is also known that the United States has long been nurturing the idea of arming its fighters with laser weapons. We are talking about a whole set of different systems.
Some of them can be used to destroy aircraft and anti-aircraft missiles that threaten the aircraft. They want to use more powerful lasers, among other things, to destroy UAVs and manned aircraft.
Among the winged vehicles that will receive such capabilities are the fifth generation F-35 and F-22 fighters, as well as promising sixth generation fighters . The middle of the decade was called as the time for testing the systems.
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