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Northrop Grumman to Help Navy Mature Laser Weapon Systems
May 2013
REDONDO BEACH, Calif., May 22, 2013 — Northrop Grumman Corp. has been selected by the US Navy for the initial phase of an R&D project that aims to mature solid-state laser weapon systems and components for ship defense.

The selection for the Solid-State Laser Technology Maturation program is the first step in the development of a prototype laser weapon system by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), which is expected to pave the way for future Navy programs that will integrate laser weapon systems on existing and future ships.

“Lasers provide the Navy a more affordable means of defending ships in harm’s way,” said Steve Hixson, vice president of directed energy at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “Under this contract, Northrop Grumman will complete a conceptual design for a complete laser weapon system to be integrated onto a destroyer or other suitable surface ship.”

In 2011, Northrop Grumman worked with ONR to demonstrate the first high-energy laser at sea. (See: Laser Used at Sea to Set Boat Afire)

“ONR’s selection of Northrop Grumman for this next step will enable us to help the Navy mature the weapon system for use by sailors in the real world,” Hixson said. “That means addressing engineering challenges such as reliability and ship integration, and showing we can do so affordably.”

Northrop Grumman has decades of experience in developing, integrating and field-testing laser weapon systems. In 2012, the company introduced Gamma, a military laser that made generational advances in packaging solid-state laser technology into much smaller, lighter, more reliable and more affordable units for operational use.

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