Lockheed Martin achieves first light success with tactical laser system
Lockheed Martin has celebrated a successful first light demonstration with a manoeuvrable tactical laser system capable of negating projectiles and aerial systems.
The Directed Energy Interceptor for Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense System (DEIMOS) is designed to be mounted on a Stryker combat vehicle and deliver the ability to negate unmanned aerial systems, rotary-wing aircraft and rockets, artillery and mortars.
On 23 January, the company announced the laser’s optical performance parameters align with the system design parameters during a demonstration.
The 50 kW-class system is expected to progress with a DEIMOS test program in 2023 and field integration tests in 2024.
Lockheed Martin advanced product solutions vice president Rick Cordaro said the system is being developed to meet the US Army’s demand for manoeuvre-short range air defence.
“The 50 kW-class laser weapon system brings another critical piece to help ensure the US Army has a layered air defence capability,” he said.
“DEIMOS has been tailored from our prior laser weapon successes to affordably meet the Army’s larger modernisation strategy for air and missile defence and to improve mission success with 21st Century Security solutions.”
Lockheed Martin has previously defeated two surrogate cruise missiles in a layered laser defence demonstration in 2022.
Both systems allow for a single operator to engage and destroy short range air defence targets, be integrated into various platforms and be installed on tactical platforms such as a Stryker vehicle.
Directed energy systems are a timely insight for Australia’s Defence Strategic Review according to defence analyst and former naval officer Christopher Skinner, following a recent report from the US Congressional Research Service (CRS) on the development and application of directed energy weapons.