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US Army concludes laser fire tests with Stryker DE M-SHORAD air defense system.

| 2023

The U.S. Army has concluded a live-fire test of the 50-kW laser weapon variant of the Stryker-based Short-Range Air Defense (SHORAD) system at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.
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Stryker DE M-SHORAD (Picture source: U.S Army)

DE M-SHORAD stands for Directed Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense. It is a system designed to provide short-range air defense protection against unmanned aerial systems (UAS), rockets, artillery, and mortars (RAM), and cruise missiles. Lt. Gen. Robert Rasch, head of the U.S. Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, said the Directed Energy Maneuver-SHORAD prototypes demonstrated their ability to target unmanned aerial systems in the Group 1, 2 and 3 categories during the test.

The DE M-SHORAD system uses directed energy weapons, such as high-energy lasers, to destroy or disable incoming threats. It is a part of the U.S. Army's modernization efforts to develop more effective and advanced air defense systems to counter evolving threats on the battlefield.

DE M-SHORAD is a mobile system that can be mounted on a variety of vehicles and platforms, making it easily deployable to different locations. The system is designed to work in conjunction with other air defense systems, such as the Patriot missile defense system, to provide layered protection against air and missile threats.

In August 2019, the Army awarded a $203 million other transaction authority agreement with Kord Technologies, a subsidiary of KBR, to integrate a laser system onto the SHORAD systems developed by General Dynamics’ land systems division under a $1.219 billion contract. Kord subsequently teamed up with subcontractors Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Technologies to develop competing prototypes of the laser system. Raytheon’s offering was selected for the DE M-SHORAD program.

The first two DE M-SHORAD prototypes were delivered to the U.S. Army in 2022 for training, while the third prototype is scheduled to undergo acceptance testing. The final unit in the platoon set is expected to be delivered by year end.

Defense News April 2023

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