Rheinmetall and MBDA win contract for high-energy laser system

Germany’s Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) has awarded a consortium, or ARGE, consisting of MBDA Deutschland GmbH and Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH a contract to fabricate, integrate and support testing of a laser weapon demonstrator in the maritime environment. The order value is in the low double-digit million euro range.

Work will be shared out on a roughly equal basis. MBDA Deutschland is responsible for tracking, the operator’s console and linking the laser weapon demonstrator to the command-and-control system. Rheinmetall is in charge of the laser weapon station, the beam guiding system, cooling, and integration of the laser weapon system into the project container of the laser source demonstrator.

The laser weapon demonstrator is to be fabricated, tested and integrated by the end of the 2021. Trials onboard the German Navy frigate F-124 Sachsen are to take place in 2022.

The contract is an important step on the path to an operational high-energy laser system. Our two companies will apply their respective strengths to make this project a success on behalf of the German Navy. Once it’s installed, the demonstrator will also be used to test important aspects such as the interaction and function of the sensor suite, combat management system and effector as well as rules of engagement.

Doris Laarmann, head of laser business development at MBDA Deutschland

The contract marks a systematic extension of the functional prototype laser weapon successfully tested in recent years, with the experience gained now dovetailing into one of the most ambitious projects in the field of laser weapon development in Europe.

Alexander Graf, head of Rheinmetall Waffe Munition’s laser weapons programme, and Dr Markus Jung

A breakthrough development in the history of defence technology, lasers engage targets at the speed of light, operating with great precision and producing very little collateral damage. A demonstrator system featuring these capabilities will soon be put to the test under highly realistic operating conditions onboard a German frigate.

Source: Rheinmetall press release

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