Boeing to Design Shipboard Free Electron Laser Weapon
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.