Dynetics and its partners will build and test the Army’s first 100kW-class laser weapon system demonstrator.
Dynetics, along with its partners, has been awarded a $130 million contract to build and test the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command’s (USASMDC/ARSTRAT) High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstrator (HEL TVD) program, a 100-kilowatt class laser weapon system.
“High energy laser weapons have been a system that the United States has wanted to add into their defense portfolio since the invention of the laser. We are glad to be selected to build this new and safe weapon system that will provide a simple, yet cost-effective approach in theater,” said Ronnie Chronister, Dynetics senior vice president of contracts.
Team Dynetics is bringing together more than 70 years of directed energy experience from known defense companies – Lockheed Martin, Rolls-Royce and MZA Associates. As the prime contractor, Dynetics will be responsible for final assembly and integration and testing of the system.
“We chose to partner with Lockheed Martin, Rolls-Royce and MZA because they are very sophisticated and agile companies who each brought a particular skillset that was necessary for us to be successful. We knew how to match synergies and leverage their knowledge base while developing an accurate, well-defined strategy, in close collaboration with the Army, that could thwart the threat,” Chronister added.
Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), as the laser weapon system integrator, will provide the laser weapon subsystem, optimizing the performance of the laser module, power and cooling systems, and operator interfaces. As a key member of Team Dynetics, Lockheed Martin will provide key support from Washington, Texas, and New Jersey.
“We are thrilled with the opportunity to partner with Dynetics and the United States Army in making laser weapons a battlefield reality,” said Tyler Griffin, director of laser & sensor systems, Lockheed Martin. “Our research and development continue to reduce technical and operational risks, and those advancements will directly contribute to Team Dynetics delivering a ruggedized, safe, and effective demonstrator for the Army’s HEL TVD program.”
Rolls-Royce LibertyWorks will design the integrated power and thermal management system to successfully meet or exceed the requirements of the HEL TVD program. The design builds upon the successful internally funded programs that have demonstrated the technology and capability in this power class. The system will provide the high level of electrical power and thermal management required in a compact, power dense package with the responsiveness required for directed energy applications.
“Rolls-Royce LibertyWorks is proud to be a part of Team Dynetics for this important program with the U.S. Army. Rolls-Royce LibertyWorks has invested for many years to develop innovative integrated power and thermal management solutions and the HEL TVD program will allow us to provide this capability directly to the warfighter. Along with our partners, we are excited to be at the forefront in the rapidly maturing world of directed energy solutions,” said Mark Wilson, chief operating officer, Rolls-Royce LibertyWorks.
The team successfully completed a preliminary design review. Government and industry representatives reviewed pages of technical documents and hardware. The government’s evaluation concluded that the HEL TVD system approach is feasible and executable and that the overall risk of an unsuccessful integrated system demonstration is low.
Team Dynetics will move to the critical design review as soon as possible. The CDR phase will finalize the design prior to system fabrication, documenting how laser science has matured into an achievable warfighter reality. Long-lead material orders will commence during this time. Subsequently, the team will build and integrate the laser weapon system onto an Army family of medium tactical vehicle platform and conduct field testing at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico per SMDC’s program plan.
The HEL TVD award was the final announcement for the SMDC Design, Development, Demonstration and Integration, or D31, Domain 1 for space, high altitude and missile defense capabilities. Dynetics was named an awardee in 2017, along with six other competitors, and advanced after completing the system requirements review in 2018.