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Raytheon to Demo 25 Kilowatt Laser
Dec 2002
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Dec. 11 -- Raytheon Co. has been selected to participate in the demonstration of a 25 kilowatt (kW) solid-state laser -- a stepping stone to developing a weapons-grade laser -- as part of a $16.9 million Joint Program Research Development contract managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory in Albuquerque, N.M.

"This contract is a big step on the path to a 100 kW laser, which is truly weapons grade," said Michael Booen, Raytheon's vice president of directed-energy weapons. "The 25 kW laser will represent an initial laser capability with promising military utility."

Raytheon's High Energy Laser Lab in El Segundo is supporting development with its directed-energy weapons product line, based in Tucson, Ariz.

The contract includes funding for two phases with an option for a third. Phase 1 is a 14-month lab demonstration of the feasibility of scaling up the proposed technology to "on the order of 10 kW" with a high-quality beam (defined as 1.5 times diffraction limited, or 1.5 xDL). Ten months after Phase 1, Phase 2 must demonstrate 25 kW in the lab at 1.5 xDL and show how it would achieve brassboard, or preproduction, capability. Phase 3 is a separately funded option to deliver a 25 kW brassboard to a government lab 12 months after Phase 2.

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