US Army awards $130 million contract for high energy laser

By WILLIAM THORNTON | Alabama Media Group, Birmingham | Published: May 16, 2019

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Tribune News Service) — Dynetics and its partners, including Lockheed Martin, will build and test the Army’s first laser weapon system demonstrator.

The U.S. Army has awarded a $130 million contract to Dynetics to develop a 100-kilowatt high energy laser, which rides on top of a tactical vehicle. Final assembly for the system, known as the High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstrator, or HEL TVD, will take place in Huntsville.

Company officials said other jobs will be added as the program matures.

Dynetics is working with Lockheed Martin, Rolls-Royce and MZA Associates on the project. Dynetics, as prime contractor, will be responsible for integration and testing of the system.

Lockheed Martin will be the laser weapon system integrator and Rolls-Royce LibertyWorks will design the integrated power and thermal management system. The project will move to design review prior to system fabrication, eventually with field testing at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

Ronnie Chronister, senior vice president of contracts for Dynetics, said the company chose to partner with the companies on the project because each brings a particular skillset.

“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," he said. “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.”

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