Lockheed Martin to Produce Lasers for US Army
BOTHELL, Wash. — Lockheed Martin Corp. has begun production of a new generation of modular high-power fiber lasers, including a 60-kW system for use as defensive weapons aboard U.S. Army vehicles.
The modular design allows laser power to be varied according to the needs of a specific mission and threat, allowing the Army to add modules together and increase power to 120 kW. The systems can be operated by a single person.
"With modular lasers, the possibility of a complete system failure due to a single-point disruption is dramatically lessened," said Iain Mckinnie, business development lead for Laser Sensors and Systems, Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training. "Production is also affordable due to the ease of reproducing module components."
Laser weapons provide a compliment to traditional kinetic weapons in the battlefield, Lockheed said, potentially providing protection against threats such as swarms of drones or large numbers of rockets and mortars.
Lockheed has been developing laser weapon system development for more than 40 years, making advances in pointing and control, line-of-sight stabilization, adaptive optics, and fiber laser devices using spectral beam combining.