skip to main content

US Army awards USD69.6 million contract for 300kW-class laser weapon development

The US Army recently awarded a General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) and Boeing team with a contract worth up to USD69.6 million to demonstrate a 300kW-class solid state laser system, according to the service. If the air defence weapon works for the army, it could potentially field the system to protect fixed- and semi-fixed sites from incoming drones and other aerial threats.

Craig Robin, the deputy director for the Directed Energy Project Office within the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO), said the service selected the team based off a response to a broad agency announcement (BAA).

“The government completed a technical evaluation of the white paper and decided to pursue the proposed demonstration to determine the feasibility for use in future weapon systems,” he wrote in a 4 November email to Janes .

To date the army has provided the team with USD7.65 million to move forward with weapon system development. However, the deal includes a USD43 million ceiling value for a base period of performance, along with three extension options that could lead to a total investment of USD69.6 million over a 31-month period.

Over this time the service intends to conduct a system requirements review, a preliminary design review, and a critical design review of the 300kW-class laser.

“Each event has clearly outlined decision points to demonstrate success in order to move forward to the next event,” Robin wrote. “At the successful conclusion of the science and technology effort, and if all options are exercised, the plan is to conduct a demonstration at a [Department of Defense] test range where the General Atomics Distributed Gain High Energy Laser will engage threats of interest to the army.”

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...