Northrop Grumman, one of the world’s foremost private military contractors is reportedly going to be working with the United States military to develop a laser weapon system that is capable of destroying enemy drones. It is part of the U.S. Army’s Maneuver Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) program to develop energy-based weapons for advanced combat support.
The laser weapon systems, each working on 50 kilowatts, would be mounted on the U.S. military’s Stryker, an all-terrain armored personnel carrier. Using such a weapon system, something which seems like a scene from a science-fiction blockbuster would provide better protection to soldiers fighting on the front line. Moreover, the laser weapon could also shoot down enemy missiles and rockets mid-air before they reach the troops on the ground. Drones and missiles have a capacity to inflict a heavy casualty rate on armies and anything that prevents them from reaching the soldiers would go a long way in improving the effectiveness of an army.
Additionally, employing such energy-based weapons would also ease numerous complications related to maintaining complex supply chains in the event of a military operation.
In addition to Northrop Grumman, Raytheon is also another military contractor that could be tapped by the United States government to provide laser weapons. The U.S. Army has reportedly planned to equip the Stryker units with the new weapon systems by 2022.