The U.S. Navy’s first-of-its kind high-energy laser weapon contract will supply one 60-150 kilowatt system for an Arleigh-Burke class ship, the DDG 51 Flight IIA, and another as a land-based test unit. The award of the $150 million contract, to Lockheed Martin Corp. in late January, signals the move of laser weaponry from science and technology research to fielding and use on Naval ships. In a highly competitive field against three other companies bidding on the contract, Lockheed Martin was not able to discuss the award until now.
The combination of so-called additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, electromagnetic simulation and mechanical design software is enabling innovative antenna and radio-frequency components. Engineers are harnessing these tools to design, fabricate, test and manufacture lightweight, highly complex antennas and radio-frequency products.
Longbow LLC, Orlando, Florida, was awarded an $8,846,716 modification (P00050) to contract W31P4Q-16-C-0035 for laser and longbow Hellfire engineering services. Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida; Ocala, Florida; and Anniston, Alabama, with an estimated completion date of February 12, 2019. Fiscal 2016, 2017 and 2018 other procurement (Army); and operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the combined amount of $8,846,716 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.
The U.S. Navy has identified laser weapons as an urgent capability need, and after many years of development, it is moving rapidly to deploy advanced laser capabilities in the near term to the fleet. The Navy is pursuing the highest-powered lasers, beginning with 60-kilowatt systems and aiming for 150-kilowatt-class systems, to be used on guided missile destroyers. Through its Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems, the Navy would be the first service to have a program of record for laser energy weapons.
The U.S. Navy took an important step forward in putting high-energy laser weapons into the fleet in awarding Bothell, Washington-based Lockheed Martin Aculight Corp.
U.S. Marine Corps operations are demanding. Weapons need to be ruggedized and mobile for quick assaults. And high-energy laser weapons such as those the Navy is developing will be large and draw high levels of power. For the Marines to be able to employ these laser weapons, the technologies must be as efficient and as small as possible, says Jeff Tomczak, deputy director of the Science & Technology (S&T) Division at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory.
For lasers—and really all weapon systems—in Marine Corps applications, the focus primarily is to make capabilities as light and as expeditionary as possible. Tomczak emphasizes that weapon size matters when warfighters have to get gear ashore.
By using laser-generated, hologram-like 3D images flashed into photosensitive resin, researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL), along with collaborators at UC Berkeley, the University of Rochester and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), have discovered they can build complex 3-D parts in a fraction of the time of traditional layer-by-layer printing, according to an LLNL press release.
The novel approach is called “volumetric” 3-D printing, and is described in the journal Science Advances, published online on December 8.
The U.S. Missile Defense Agency tapped Lockheed Martin to develop a low power laser demonstrator (LPLD) missile interceptor technology. Under a nine-month, $9.4 million contract, Lockheed examine the use of its beam control concept demonstrator on an airborne platform to destroy missiles during the boost phase. "Our LPLD concept puts advanced beam control systems and a fiber laser on a high-performance, high-altitude platform to maximize risk reduction value over the demonstration period,” said Sarah Reeves, director in Strategic and Missile Defense programs at Lockheed Martin.
Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation, Apopka, Florida, has been awarded a $12,439,451 firm-fixed-price, sole-source contract for Army-related laser range finders. The 14-month base contract includes one 14-month option period. Deliveries will begin 360 days after award. Location of performance is Florida, with a June 7, 2019, performance completion date. Type of appropriation is fiscal year 2017 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Warren, Michigan (SPRDL1-17-C-0200).
The Boeing Co., St. Louis, has been awarded an estimated $90 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for laser pod research and development. The contractor will provide research and development of high-energy laser technologies. Work will be performed in St. Louis and is expected to be completed by December 15, 2021. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition, with four offers received. Cost-plus-fixed-fee completion task order FA9451-17-F-0001 also was awarded under this contract for $35,728,551. Fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $5 million are being obligated at the time of the award.
Stellar Science, Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been awarded a $7,034,747 cost-reimbursement contract for Advanced Laser Modeling and Simulation. Contractor will develop advanced laser system modeling and simulation capabilities. Work will be performed at Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is expected to be complete by December 13, 2021. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with five offers received. Fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $150,000 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, is the contracting activity (FA9451-17-C-0089).
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Redondo Beach, California, has been awarded a $39,339,172 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) Turret Research in Aero-Effects (STRAFE) program. Contractor will develop and deliver an advanced beam control system for integration as part of a complete laser weapons system into a tactical pod on an Air Force fighter aircraft. STRAFE will increase the knowledge and understanding of aero-optic disturbances in a supersonic environment by collecting data during engagement scenarios.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) of San Diego, California, is being awarded a $9,609,911, competitive, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. Under this new contract, the contractor will design, build and test in the laboratory key laser subsystems required to demonstrate precision tracking. The contractor will perform systems level analyses and performance assessments based on design predictions and laboratory measurements. The contractor will develop and demonstrate, a MQ-9 flight representative laser system with the beam train optics required to upgrade a multi-spectral targeting system for use as an active tracking sensor.
Leidos Inc., Reston, Virginia, has been awarded a $21,079,949 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for critical analysis and simulation efforts. Contractor will provide advanced technology exploration, development and research into optical beam control in the presence of atmospheric turbulence to develop, simulate, analyze and characterize beam control systems for laser propagation and laser communication. Work will be performed at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, and is expected to be complete by January 23, 2021. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with one offer received.
The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is being awarded a $357,852,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contract to procure full rate production Lots 4-8 of the DSU-38 A/B Precision Laser Guided Sets (PLGSs) for the U.S. Navy, U.S.
Northrop Grumman Space and Mission Systems Corp., Redondo Beach, California, is being awarded a $53,151,809 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Solid State High Power Laser Weapon System Demonstrator (LWSD) program.
The Boeing Co., Laser and Electro-optical Systems Division, Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been awarded a $13,774,989 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for research and development for the Directed Energy Directorate's Space Electro-optics Division. Contractor will provide expertise in designing and engineering the next generation of adaptive optics, laser guidestar and other electro-optical systems for space superiority; executing experiments to evaluate the resultant developed hardware and software; and maintenance of state-of-the-art experimental equipment. Work will be performed at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico; and Maui, Hawaii, and is expected to be completed by March 31, 2016.
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Systems Engineering Solutions, Boulder, Colorado, was awarded on May 11, 2015, a not-to-exceed $11,145,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for laser target interaction modeling and simulation. Contractor will conduct research leading to the development of advanced computational methods for predicting the physical phenomenology resulting from high energy laser interactions. Work will be performed at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, and is expected to be complete by May 8, 2020. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with 10 offers received.
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Systems Engineering Solutions, Boulder, Colorado, was awarded on May 29, 2015, a not-to-exceed $21 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for laser interaction testing. Contractor will provide well-controlled experimental procedures to quantify the effects of high power continuous-wave (up to MW class) and high energy pulsed (kJ) lasers interacting with individual materials, multi-material subsystems and fully functional targets. Work will be performed at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, and is expected to be complete by May 28, 2020. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with six offers received.
The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $49,816,500 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-10-C-0030) for the full rate production of 3,500 Precision Laser Guidance Set (PLGS) units and 5,000 kits to convert the PLGS units from the DSU-38/B configuration to the DSU-38A/B for the U.S. Air Force. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.