Northrop Grumman has received a contract for the US Army Maneuver Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) directed energy prototyping initiative, the company announced on 2 August.

The initiative includes integrating a directed energy weapon system on a STRYKER vehicle as a pathfinding effort toward the M-SHORAD objective of providing more comprehensive protection of frontline combat units.

Northrop Grumman is eager to leverage its portfolio of innovative, proven technologies and integration expertise to accelerate delivery of next-generation protection to our maneuver forces,” commented the company’s Vice President and General Manager, Missile Defense and Protective Systems, Dan Verwiel. “Our flexible, open systems approach offers an end-to-end solution for the Army’s growing and ever-changing mission requirements in today’s complex threat environment.”

Under the initiative from the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office and a contract from Kord Technologies, Northrop Grumman will build and integrate a suite of advanced sensors; target acquisition and tracking; a 50kW-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 operators to develop tactics, techniques, procedures and concepts of operations (TTPs and CONOPS) for future high-energy laser weapons. The Army’s future M-SHORAD protection for forward-deployed troops 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 US Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, Redstone Arsenal, AL.


Northrop Grumman will integrate a 50kW-class directed energy weapon system on to a STRYKER platform in a prototype initiative for the US Army’s M-SHORAD programme. (Image: Northrop Grumman)

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