Raytheon has been contracted by the US Army to develop a preliminary design of a new 100kW laser weapon system to counter rocket, artillery and mortar attacks.

Valued at $10m, the current contract has been awarded under the army’s High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstration programme (HEL TVD).

The new 100kW-class laser weapon system will be used by the US Army for integration onboard the service’s Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTVs).

Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems Business Unit Intelligence, Reconnaissance and Surveillance (ISR) Systems vice-president Roy Azevedo said: “The beauty of this system is that it’s self-contained.

“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.”

“This system is being designed to knock out rockets, artillery or mortar fire or small drones.”

HEL TVD is a science and technology demonstration programme of the US Army and serves as a part of the service’s Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 initiative.

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Once the HEL TVD Programme Option Two is completed, a supplier will be awarded a system development and demonstration contract by the US Army for the development and integration of a weapon system on the FMTVs.

Valued at approximately $130m a system, development and demonstration contract decision is expected early next year.

The army is planning to conduct HEL TVD demonstration against a range of targets in the fiscal year 2022.

The HEL TVD pre-prototype weapon system also features other multiple subsystems that include laser, beam control, electrical power, thermal management, as well as Battle Management, Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence.