Northrop Grumman has received a U.S. Army contract for the Army’s Maneuver Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) directed energy prototyping initiative. The initiative includes integrating a directed energy weapon system on a Stryker vehicle as a path finding effort toward the U.S. Army M-SHORAD objective to provide more comprehensive protection of frontline combat units.
Under the initiative from the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office and a contract from Kord Technologies, Northrop will build and integrate a suite of advanced sensors; target acquisition and tracking; a 50-kilowatt class laser system; and battle-tested command-and-control on an Army Stryker combat vehicle. The effort will culminate in a competitive performance checkout leading into a range demonstration that informs M-SHORAD requirements.
The directed energy M-SHORAD prototypes are part of the progression of an Army technology maturation initiative known as the Multi-Mission High Energy Laser (MMHEL). The integrated platform allows early involvement with warfighter users to develop tactics, techniques, procedures and concepts of operations for future high energy laser weapons. The Army’s future M-SHORAD protection for forward-deployed soldiers includes laser weapon systems as an effective complement to kinetic capabilities in countering rockets, artillery and mortars; unmanned aircraft systems; and other aerial threats.
The M-SHORAD directed energy prototyping initiative is managed by the U.S. Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.