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nLIGHT Awarded $34.5M Defense Contract

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nLIGHT Inc. has been selected to provide a high-energy laser (HEL) in support of the U.S. Army’s Rapid Capabilities Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) Directed Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (DE M-SHORAD) prototyping effort. The laser technology company secured a $34.5 million contract to develop a solution. nLIGHT will subcontract under KORD Technologies LLC to complete the laser system over a period of 18 months.

DE M-SHORAD is a component of the U.S. Army’s broader modernization strategy for air and missile defense and focuses on integrating a 50-kW-class laser weapon system onto a Stryker combat vehicle to provide defensive capabilities against unmanned aircraft systems; rockets, artillery, and mortars; and rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft. Compared to conventional heavy kinetic weapons, directed-energy laser weapons can offer deeper magazines with lower cost-per-shot in a smaller footprint. To date, companies including Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, and General Atomics have produced laser prototypes under the DE M-SHORAD project.

The $34.5 million award follows a separate award to nLIGHT earlier in November for over $85 million to produce an HEL prototype as part of the second phase of the U.S. Department of Defense’s High Energy Laser Scaling Initiative (HELSI).

Published: December 2023
directed energy
Directed energy refers to a type of energy that is emitted and transferred in a controlled direction. The term is often associated with military and technological applications where energy, typically in the form of electromagnetic radiation, is focused and directed toward a specific target. Directed energy systems can take various forms, including lasers and high-power microwaves. The key characteristic is the intentional concentration of energy to achieve a desired effect on a target. In...
BusinesscontractLasersDirected Energyhigh energy laserHELDEU.S. ArmyUnited Statesmilitary & defenseweapon50 kWStrykernLIGHT Defense SystemsKORD TechnologiesAmericasIndustry News

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