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General Atomics Developing Lightweight Laser Weapon

July 21, 2011
By George Seffers

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Incorporated recently announced that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded the company a contract for development of the complete Demonstrator Laser Weapon System (DLWS) for the agency's High Energy Liquid Laser Defense System (HELLADS) program. The contract award follows the successful development and test of the company's HELLADS weapon class unit cell under a previous contract. The HELLADS laser concept combines the high-storage density of solid-state with the efficient heat removal of flowing liquids. The HELLADS program seeks to demonstrate a 150-kilowatt laser weapon that weighs less than 2,000 pounds and could be mounted to military platforms as small as patrol ships, fighter and surveillance aircraft, armored combat vehicles, and perhaps even unmanned aircraft.

NASA Selects Fibertek's Lasers for 2016 Mission

May 31, 2011
By George Seffers

NASA has selected Fibertek of Herndon, Virgina, to design, develop, fabricate, test and deliver laser systems to be used for the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) mission scheduled to launch in 2016. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the ICESat-2 Project. The total estimated value of the contract is $26 million. The contractor will provide four spaceflight lasers and one test laser for the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System instrument on the ICESat-2 Observatory. The spaceflight laser systems consist of the optical, electrical, mechanical, material, wire harnessing, thermal control, flight software, flight firmware and support equipment.

Boeing to Provide Laser Gyros for U.S. Navy and Australia

March 27, 2011
By George Seffers

The Boeing Company, St. Louis, Missouri, is being awarded a more than $10 million delivery order against a basic ordering agreement for the procurement of 741 Honeywell model GG1320 ring laser gyros for F/A-18E/F and EA-18G aircraft for the U.S. Navy (714) and the government of Australia (27 spares). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

UES to Research Effects of Lasers

January 19, 2011
By George Seffers

UES Incorporated of Dayton, Ohio was awarded a $35 million contract to conduct research on the effect of and interactions produced by lasers on materials, structures and sensor components and configurations of interest to the U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense. Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity.

QinetiQ to Provide Submarine Laser Communication System

September 27, 2010
By George Seffers

QinetiQ North America Operations, Limited Liability Company, is being awarded a more than $31 million contract for the Tactical Relay Information Network program to provide a submarine laser communication system that operates in the blue spectrum for evaluation during a naval exercise in fiscal 2012. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is the contracting activity.

Boeing to Design Shipboard Free Electron Laser Weapon

September 8, 2010
By George Seffers

The Boeing Company, Huntsville, Alabama, is being awarded a more than $23 million task order for the critical design of a 100-kW class Free Electron Laser (FEL) device to demonstrate scaleability of the necessary physics and engineering for an eventual MW class FEL.  The Navy FEL Innovative Naval Prototype Program will encompass the transition from a demonstrated 14 kW FEL capability, currently at hand, to a weapon class 100-kW class capability, which is intended to provide the physics and engineering information needed to support a MW class FEL device development.  The desired outcome of this effort is to transfer laboratory capability to industry and to assess potential industrial roles in supporting the procurement program for FEL weapon systems. The Navy also wishes to gain insight into industry's longer term interest in participating in the follow-on integration, at a government test facility, or elsewhere, of the FEL device into a complete naval weapon system test bed to validate the concept for shipboard use. The Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Northrop Receives $77 Million for Helicopter Infrared Countermeasures

August 11, 2010
By George Seffers

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Rolling Meadows, Illinois, is being awarded an undefinitized contract action with an estimated value of $77 million  for the procurement of 121 AN/AAQ-24(V) 25 Guardian laser transmitter assemblies for installation on CH-53D, CH-53E, and CH-46E helicopters, including associated technical data.  The guardian laser transmitter assembly, a component of the large aircraft infrared countermeasures, is a next-generation directable laser-based countermeasures system for protecting helicopters and some fixed-wing aircraft from man-portable air defense systems.  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

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