Raytheon is to develop the preliminary design for a 100kW-class laser weapon system under a $10 million US Army High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstration programme contract, the company announced on 2 July.

Designed for the counter rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) mission, the system is destined for integration on the Army’s Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV). HEL TVD, a US Army science and technology demonstration programme, is part of the Army's Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 initiative.

"The beauty of this system is that it's self-contained," explained Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems’ Vice President of Intelligence, Reconnaissance and Surveillance Systems, Roy Azevedo. "Multi-spectral targeting sensors, fibre-combined lasers, power and thermal sub-systems are incorporated in a single package. This system is being designed to knock out rockets, artillery or mortar fire, or small drones."

Upon HEL TVD Programme Option Two completion, a single supplier will be awarded a system development and demonstration contract to build and integrate a weapon system on the FMTV: a System Development and Demonstration contract decision, valued at nearly $130 million, is expected early in 2019.

Raytheon has a contract for the preliminary design work on a C-RAM laser for the US Army. (Image: Raytheon)

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