The US Army has received its first mobile air defense systems… with directed energy! Four ED M-SHORAD Guardian, Stryker armored vehicles equipped with a 50 kW laser, were delivered on September 21. The US Army thus has its very first mobile laser battery, which can destroy drones but also helicopters or even serve as a C-RAM battery. The advantages of directed energy systems are numerous, so much so that the US Army does not intend to stop there: by the end of 2024, nearly five different systems will be in the testing phase with a view to covering a wide spectrum of threats.
First for the US Army
On September 21, a communicated of the United States Army (US Army) confirmed that the first Guardian directed energy air defense systems have been delivered to the US Army. In total, the 4th battalion of the 60th air defense artillery regiment (4-60th ADAR) received four DE M-SHORAD or Directed Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense, called Guardian by the US Army. For almost a year, this unit recently reactivated in March 2022 trains to master these new systems: driving vehicles simulating the weight, size and power of the Guardian, use of simulators for training in various attack scenarios,… One year more Later, personnel from the unit were present at the Yuma Proving Ground test center (Arizona, United States) to see a live firing demonstration of a DE M-SHORAD prototype.
Lieutenant Colonel Alex Corby, former commander of the 4-60th ADAR battalion, underlined the importance of the moment for the US Army and the Delta battery of the 4-60th ADAR:
“Today, Delta Battery etches its name in the annals of military history as the Army’s first-ever directed energy tactical unit.“