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FAVS 2023: US Army receives first DE M-SHORAD laser system prototypes

The RCCTO delivered four DE M-SHORAD prototypes to the 4th Battalion, 60th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, at Fort Sill, Kentucky, on 7 September. (US Army)

The US Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) delivered four Directed Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (DE M-SHORAD) prototype systems mounted on Stryker 8×8 vehicles to the 4th Battalion, 60th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, at Fort Sill in Kentucky, on 7 September, Colonel Steven Gutierrez, RCCTO project manager for the system, said at the first day of SAE Media Group's Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability (FAVS) 2023 conference, held in London from 13 to 15 November. He said the 50 kW laser requires no ammunition supplies, with “the cost per shot [costing] pennies on the dollar”.

He said two more prototypes were planned and the systems would be integrated into the US Army corps level command-and-control. Col Guterriez reported that the US Army tested DE M-SHORAD against 50 target sets during exercises between February and March, including rotary- and fixed-wing unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) and mortar rounds. The system is designed to counter Class 1–3 UASs and rockets, artillery, and mortars (RAM).

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