skip to main content

US Army outfitting Infantry Squad Vehicle with 20 kW laser, DE M-SHORAD deliveries forthcoming

US Army infantry soldiers secure their rucks in the cargo netting on the roof of the ISV after it was airdropped at Fort Bragg during operational testing. The service announced it will outfit the ISV with a 20 kW-class laser to down unmanned aerial systems. (US Department of Defense)

The US Army is integrating a 20 kW-class laser weapon system into its new Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) to help soldiers down smaller unmanned aerial systems (UASs), according to the director of the service's Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office Lieutenant General Neil Thurgood.

The three-star general spoke at the Space and Missile Defense symposium on 10 August about a host of programmes under his purview including directed energy initiatives. At the event, he announced that senior service leaders recently approved the development of an Army Multi-Purpose High Energy Laser (AMP-HEL) prototype that they want completed by the end of September 2023.

Tentative plans involve outfitting General Motors (GM) Defense's ISV with a pallatised 20 kW-class laser weapon system to enable soldiers to down Group 1 and 2 UAS, Lt Gen Thurgood added.

Army leaders want to field a variety of directed energy weapons to soldiers, to include both high-energy laser and high-powered microwave technologies. In addition to plans to develop an AMP-HEL prototype, the service is outfitting Stryker vehicles with a 50 kW-class laser under the Directed Energy Manoeuvre Short-Range Air Defense (DE M-SHORAD) programme.

By the end of September, the service anticipates delivering the first DE M-SHORAD vehicles to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Lt Gen Thurgood said, noting that the weapon has proven that it can track and target Group 1–3 UASs, along with rocket, artillery, and mortar threats.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...