Soldiers to shoot lasers from Stryker vehicles in upcoming test

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The head of the Army‘s directed-energy weapon effort said Wednesday that soldiers will be firing lasers from Stryker combat vehicles in a test next year to select the firm to equip the service with the high-tech air-defense weapon.

Army program officials for the service’s Directed-Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) effort — a key modernization priority designed to equip a platoon of Stryker wheeled combat vehicles with 50-kilowatt lasers in fiscal 2021 — outlined new details of the shoot-off event between Northrop Grumman and Raytheon scheduled for the third quarter of fiscal 2021.

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As part of its new modernization strategy, the Army continues to stress the importance of involving soldiers in equipment development and testing much earlier than in past efforts.

“The soldiers will actually do the combat shoot-off; it won’t be done by contractors,” Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood, director of Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space, and Rapid Acquisition, said during a Defense News space and missile defense webinar.

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