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Lockheed Martin Achieves First Light In Latest Laser Lab Demonstration

The Directed Energy Interceptor for Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense System (DEIMOS) system by Lockheed Martin has achieved first light, demonstrating that the optical performance parameters of the laser match the system design requirements.

Lockheed Martin’s 50 kW-class DEIMOS system is a ruggedized, tactical laser weapon system that can be integrated into the Stryker combat vehicle to deliver robust directed energy capability to the U.S. Army’s challenging maneuver-short range air defense (M-SHORAD) mission.

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Lockheed Martin’s DEIMOS first light demonstration is a crucial milestone along the path to helping the Army perform its DE M-SHORAD mission, which is intended to deliver a maneuverable laser system capable of negating unmanned aerial systems, rotary-wing aircraft and rockets, artillery and mortars.

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First light measures the expected beam quality of the system while testing end-to-end performance of our game-changing, low-cost Spectral Beam Combination (SBC) architecture. The key benefit of the company’s SBC is that power can be scaled while retaining the excellent beam quality of the individual fiber lasers.

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In 2022, Lockheed Martin demonstrated Layered Laser Defense (LLD) capability by defeating two surrogate cruise missiles at tactically relevant ranges. This LLD capability:

  • Shares many common elements with the DEIMOS system architecture, such as allowing for a single operator to engage and destroy SHORAD targets.
  • Can be seamlessly integrated into various platforms.
  • Can fit on tactical platforms such as a Stryker vehicle because it was designed with constraints in terms of size, weight and power (SWaP).

What’s Next

Utilizing a philosophy of “build a little, test a little, learn a lot,” Lockheed Martin will expand the DEIMOS test program in 2023, culminating with field integration tests in 2024. This thorough approach is designed to reduce risk, to enable soldier touchpoints and to provide proof points of compelling mission capabilities.

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The Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) is leading the DE M-SHORAD prototyping effort and is expected to transition the program to the Program Executive Office (PEO) Missiles & Space in 2024.

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