A KBR subsidiary is continuing integration activities for the U.S. Army's Mobile Experimental High Energy Laser weapon at the company's new facility in Huntsville, Alabama ahead of prototype deliveries scheduled for fiscal year 2022.
KBR said Wednesday the Army awarded Kord Technologies a prime contract to develop the 5-10 kilowatt-class fiber laser system for the service branch's Directed Energy Maneuver Short Range Air Defense program in 2019. Centauri, which KBR bought for $800M in October, acquired Kord last year.
Kord will integrate laser modules from Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Technologies into the Army's Stryker fighting vehicles for testing in 2021 as part of the DE-MSHORAD program.
Scott Schnorrenberg, general manager at Kord, said the team will integrate four DE-MSHORAD platforms into additional Strykers once the Army selects a module by September 2022.
Kord's 25K-square foot facility, which includes and HEL laboratory with a capacity for testing 50 kW-class lasers, houses Kord's prototyping activities including the integration of MEHEL's power and thermal management, beam compensation and optics functionalities.
According to the company, HELs could be used to defend military assets against threats such as artillery and mortar systems, rockets, unmanned aerial systems and hypersonic missiles.
Kord developed the MEHEL weapon's first configuration in 2016.