The Army has awarded Lockheed Martin Aculight Corp. an other transaction authority agreement worth as much as $220 million to develop, integrate, manufacture and test the Indirect Fire Protection Capability high-energy laser prototype weapon systems, according to a July 19 contract notice from the Pentagon.
The notice states that $154 million in research, development, test and evaluation funding for fiscal year 2023 was obligated at the time of the award.
The IFPC high-energy laser prototype is “intended to protect fixed and semi-fixed sites” from threats such as rockets, artillery, mortars, unmanned systems, rotary and fixed-wing threats, according to the Army.
Lockheed is teaming with Dynetics on the IFPC high-energy laser Demonstrator project, the predecessor to the recently awarded prototype project, with Dynetics providing the power and thermal management system mounted on the back of a trailer. The power is used to produce photons in a 300-kilowatt laser made by Lockheed, and the beam director is on the front of the trailer. Lockheed delivered the prototype weapon last year to support the Army’s IFPC-High Energy Laser Demonstrator effort, Inside Defense reported at the time.
The Army is planning to mount four of the 300-kilowatt, high-energy laser prototypes onto tactical vehicles by FY-24, according to a Congressional Research Service report from last month. The laser will then transition to a program of record in FY-25 if testing is successful.
The OTA has an estimated completion date of Oct. 18, 2025, according to the notice.