Laser Trucks Are On Their Way

No military light reconnaissance vehicle — think Humvees, or the Jeeps of yore — is complete today without a full set of bells and whistles. Light composite armor and automatic cannons, once exotic, are now old hat. But to really complete the transition from military vehicle to G.I. Joe toy concept, your vehicle will need a laser.

Today, at the Association of the United States Army conference in downtown Washington, D.C., weapons maker Northrop Grumman announced that they’re looking to integrate a 10-kilowatt solid-state fiber laser onto their newest tactical dune buggy.

The Hellhound, a rear-engine vehicle with seating for six, weighs in at 13,000 pounds, loaded. Loaded with what? Not a lot of armor, nor even a belly-plate to protect against IEDs, though you can buy and bolt on a 1-ton armor kit. But this kind of protection is deemed unnecessary for the typical mission of a light reconnaissance vehicle, or LRV, which might go in as part of an entry brigade combat team — more Grenada, 1983; less Iraq, 2003.

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