US Stryker To Be Equipped With Laser Technology

Stryker To Be Equipped With Laser Technology

The U.S Defense Department expects that the first battalion of Stryker vehicles outfitted with high-powered laser weapons will be deployed by some time next year. U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command chief Lt. Gen. Dan Karbler told the audience at the virtual Space Missile Defense Symposium, “Expect to have the first battalion fielded in 2021 with four battalions by 2023.” This is one of the several soon-to-come innovations in missile defense aimed at deterring adversaries like Russia, China, Iran. It is clear now that the age of laser weapons is upon us and this will have a profound impact on how future battles are fought. In this video Defense Updates analyzes howU.S Army plans to dominate the battlefield with laser mounted Stryker? Let’s get started. On 28 February 2018, the Army announced thatStryker vehicles would be modified with sensors and weapons to fulfill an interim Maneuver-Short-RangeAir Defense (M-SHORAD) requirement.

This is in response to a capability gap identified in Europe against Russian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). With the previous focus on fighting in theMiddle East, the U.S. Army had neglected SHORAD capabilities and in future conflicts, it is feared they would not be able to rely on air dominance to counter enemy aircraft. In addition to deploying AN/TWQ-1 Avengers and fielding man-portable Stinger missiles, Strykers are to be upgraded to buy time to build a lasting mobile air defense solution. Because the unarmored Humvee-based Avengerlacks survivability and range to keep up with maneuver forces and hold off enemy aircraft in contested territory, four battalions totaling 144 Stryker SHORADs are planned, with the first battery of 12 systems fielded by 2020.

The Stryker platform was chosen because it has better protection

The Stryker platform was chosen because it has better protection and in regards to size, weight, and power considerations, especially for the possibility of integrating a directed energy weapon in the future. The first unit to be equipped with them will be the 4th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment. All 144 M-SHORAD systems are planned to be delivered by 2022. The turret can mount one four-shot Stingerpod or two Hellfire missiles on either side. The system can act in a secondary anti-vehicle role, as the 30 mm cannon is larger than the 25 mm gun mounted on the M2 Bradley and the hellfire has a greater range than TOW missiles typically used by ground vehicles In October 1999,

General Eric Shinseki, thenU.S. Army Chief of Staff, outlined a transformation plan for the army that would allow it to adapt to post-Cold War conditions. The plan, named "Objective Force", would have the army adopt a flexible doctrine that would allow it to deploy quickly, and be equipped for a variety of operations. An early phase of the plan called for the introduction of a vehicle, which was intended to fill the capability gap between heavier and heavily armed, but not easily deployable, vehicles, such as the M2 Bradley, and easily deployable vehicles that are lightly armed and protected, such as the Humvee. The ICV (Infantry Carrier Vehicle) Stryker is a family of eight-wheeled armored fighting vehicles. It is essentially a variant of Canadian LAVIII.

Stryker vehicles are produced by General Dynamics Land Systems

Stryker vehicles are produced by General Dynamics Land Systems for the United States Army. It has a 4-wheel drive (8×4) and can be switched to an all-wheel-drive (8×8). The vehicle is named for two unrelated U.S.soldiers who posthumously received the Medal of Honor: Private First Class Stuart S. Stryker, who died in World War II, and Specialist Four Robert F. Stryker, who died in the Vietnam war. Strykers are being produced from 2002 and the U.S army has more than 4500 of these. Throughout its years in service, the Stryker has undergone various survivability upgrades and received "kit" applications designed to improve the vehicle's ability to withstand attacks But now Strykers in SHORAD role would geta game-changing technology with the introduction of Laser.

As per Breaking Defense, Defense contractors Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are currently competing to manufacture the new laser system, with plans for a "shoot off" between the two prototypes at Fort Sill in Oklahoma in May 2021. The laser system will be integrated into the vehicle's' existing hardware as soon as this December and a platoon of four laser Strykersprototypes will end up in the hands of an actual combat unit some time in 2022. The initial integration will be of a 5 kW laser which is being tested since early 2018. But the 'laser battalion’ will eventually deploy the new 50 kW Directed Energy-Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (DE-MSHORAD) system which has 10 times power.

This new Upgraded Stryker is expected to be available by 2022

This is expected to be available by 2022. According to Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood, director for Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space and Rapid Acquisition in the Office of the assistant secretary of the Army, the service is also working to field a 300 kW Indirect Fires ProtectionCapability – High Energy Laser (IFPC-HEL) truck-mounted laser by 2024. In May, Defense contractor Dynetics announced it was currently working to boost the power of the 100 kW High Energy Laser Tactical VehicleDemonstrator to roughly 300 kW. The 50kw Stryker will be deployed primarily to neutralize unmanned aerial systems and incoming artillery rockets, while the 300kW version IFPC-HEL system could potentially be used to counter incoming cruise missiles.

Lasers are concentrated beams of light that transmit large amounts of electromagnetic radiation against their targets. The power of a laser is generally stated in kilowatts. The general idea of laser-beam weaponry is to hit a target with a train of brief pulses of light. The rapid evaporation and expansion of the surface cause shockwaves that damage the target. Lasers have some very important advantages. The speed of light enables them to hit their targets almost instantaneously. Laser weapons also don’t need to carry ammunition like traditional systems and hence they will be able to take out a much larger number of threats constrained only by the power supply limit of the platform.

These systems as of now are only capable of taking out relatively easy targets like small boats and that too at short ranges. U.S Army also seems to be very clear in its outlook when it comes to Laser weapons. Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood stated, "The time is now to get directed energy weapons to the battlefield. The Army recognizes the need for directed energy lasers as part of the Army's modernization plan. This is no longer a research effort or a demonstration effort. It is a strategic combat capability, and we are on the right path to get it in soldiers' hands.” It remains to bee see how things pan out.