Leidos subsidiary Dynetics has secured a contract to build and increase power of US Army laser capability.

Dynetics is playing an integral role in the US Army’s weapon modernisation initiatives to increase the power of its latest directed energy weapon from a 100 kW-class system to a 300kW-class system.

In January, the US Army modified the existing contract to support on-going efforts to increase laser capability.

This marked an official transition to the Indirect Fires Protection Capability – High Energy Laser (IFPC-HEL) endeavour.

Last year, the US Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) secured a High Energy Laser Scaling Initiative (HELSI) contract to support the IFPC-HEL effort. The contract was awarded by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).

The initiatives involved development of the High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstrator (HEL-TVD).

Dynetics is the prime contractor for IFPC-HEL and is expected to demonstrate a 300 kW-class prototype system in FY22.

Under the scope of the contract, the company will lead the final assembly, integration, and testing of the development.

Once developed, the system will defend against hostile unmanned aerial systems and rockets, artillery and mortars.

By 2024, the IFPC-HEL prototype will assist the US Army’s effort to field prototype units with residual combat capability.

Dynetics strategic programmes director Scott Stanfield said: “This contract modification proves Dynetics’ agility and responsiveness to warfighter needs.

“Scaling these proven technologies puts us on track to demonstrate and deliver the 300 kW-class prototype system and support the delivery of this revolutionary capability to our men and women of the operational Army by 2024.”

In May last year, Dynetics secured a $130m contract to build and test HEL-TVD.

In early November 2019, the HEL-TVD critical design review concluded and marked the completion of the demonstrator programme.