Dynetics, along with its partners, has been awarded a $10 million contract to continue development for the next phase of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s (SMDC) High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstrator (HEL TVD) program, a 100 kW-class laser weapon system.
The team recently completed a System Requirements Review and technical baseline update. The next step in the program will be the preliminary design review in January 2019.
“The HEL TVD program will be pivotal for the warfighters while they are protecting our country. Dynetics, Lockheed Martin and our partners are looking forward to providing a safe and simple high energy laser weapon system that crews can operate for years to come and across various terrains,” said Ronnie Chronister, Dynetics vice president of contracts. “We pulled together a stellar team who have the expertise and knowledge to understand exactly what is needed. We believe that our solution will be straightforward and will be the type of system that will preferred by the Army.”
Laser weapons are ideally suited to address high volume, low cost threats because of their inexpensive cost per shot and deep magazine. Team Dynetics HEL TVD system incorporates highly reliable subsystems to withstand the expected rugged operation conditions.
Dynetics is the prime contractor and will be responsible for final assembly and testing of the system. Dynetics is drawing on the experience of systems engineering, manufacturing, test and vehicle modifications for integration on the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV). The final weapon assembly will be performed at its Huntsville, Ala., location.
Lockheed Martin will provide the laser subsystem, as well as other key subsystems, will serve as the lead systems integrator. The spectral beam-combined fiber laser subsystem strongly leverages Lockheed Martin’s experience from ground vehicle integration gained as part of the Army’s Robust Electric Laser Initiative (RELI) program. As a key member of Team Dynetics, Lockheed Martin will provide subcontractual support from Bothell, Wash. and Grand Prairie, Texas.
“The proliferation of hostile unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and rockets, artillery and mortars (RAM) present an increasing threat to deployed U.S. troops. Laser weapons offer a deep magazine and very low cost-per-kill making them ideally-suited to complement existing kinetic energy weapons to address intense UAS swarms and RAM raids” said Iain McKinnie, Lockheed Martin lead for Advanced Laser Solutions and Strategy. “The Army’s HEL TVD program is a critical step toward realizing this potential, culminating in 2022 testing of a mobile 100 kW-class laser weapon system fully integrated with an Army FMTV truck.”
Dynetics teamed with Lockheed Martin because they have more than 40 years of experience developing laser weapon systems. The HEL TVD award leverages technology building blocks from internal research and development projects, including the ATHENA system and ALADIN laser, as well as contract experience gained from programs such as the U.S. Army’s RELI program, the U.S. Air Force LANCE program and the U.S. Navy HELIOS and HEFL programs.