BAE Systems Amps Up Directed Energy Work

BAE Systems unveiled its Future Technology Demonstrator armored vehicle

17th Oct 2014


BAE Systems Amps Up Directed Energy Work


BAE Systems unveiled its Future Technology Demonstrator armored vehicle at the Association of the U.S. Army convention in Washington this week, with a focus on directed-energy technology.
The FTD includes hardware from the company’s Future Combat Systems and Ground Combat Vehicle work, including a Qinetiq electric-drive system that supports hybrid power and can meet the power requirements of directed energy weapons.


Armament on the FTD includes a remotely operated weapons station based on the Navy Mk38 mount, and carrying a 30-mm ATK cannon and a prototype laser weapon. Boeing supplies the beam director, and the laser itself is an industrial type from IPG Photonics. Like other contractors, BAE Systems is touting the laser as a low-cost-per-kill weapon against small unmanned air vehicles and mortar rounds.


In a parallel development, BAE showed a model of a conceptual high-power microwave (HPM) weapon that it is studying under contract to the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Dahlgren division. Also installed on a Mk38 mount, the HPM weapon features an electro-optical aiming unit and a flat multi-element array, and is designed to interfere with the engines of small watercraft used for swarming attacks. A subscale test rig is being evaluated at Dahlgren to investigate its effects on small engines.


 

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