laser

May 14, 2021
By George I. Seffers
The CIRCM system provides U.S. Army aircraft unprecedented protection from current and emerging missile threats. Credit: Northrop Grumman photo

The U.S. Army already is fielding its Common Infrared Countermeasures system to some units and will deliver the system simultaneously to all types of aircraft, Army officials told reporters during a recent telephonic roundtable.

February 1, 2021
By George I. Seffers
The amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland (LPD 27) successfully tests a solid-state laser weapon system demonstrator. Directed energy weapons, along with hypersonic weapons, artificial intelligence and other advanced systems, are on the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s priority list.    U.S. Navy photo

The potential proliferation of hypersonic weapons highlights the need to advance a wide range of other technologies, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomy, laser weapons and fully networked command, control and communications systems, says George Kailiwai III, director, requirements and resources (J-8) for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

April 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
National Institute of Standards and Technology researchers have developed a new photonic sensor that could prove beneficial for growing human tissue—skin, muscle, bones or internal organs—in the laboratory. The device might ultimately be implanted in the body to monitor reactions to organ or tissue transplants.  Images by Jennifer Lauren Lee/NIST and Shutterstock. Edited by Chris D’Elia

A new, highly precise photon sensor could help advance the science of growing human tissue, such as bones, skin or vital organs, in the laboratory and could benefit warfighters and society. The potential applications include monitoring environmental conditions, such as poison gases on the battlefield or toxins in the home.

March 10, 2020
 

Lockheed Martin Corp., Baltimore, Maryland, is awarded a $22,436,852 letter contract for the integration, demonstration, testing and operation of the Layered Laser Defense (LLD) weapon system prototype onboard a Navy littoral combat ship while that vessel is underway. Work will be performed in Moorestown, New Jersey (30%); Baltimore, Maryland (25%); Sunnyvale, California (12%); Woodinville, Washington (10%); Manassas, Virginia (5%); Dallas, Texas (15%); San Diego, California (2%); and Santa Cruz, California (1%).

December 6, 2019
 

Raytheon Co. Space and Airborne Systems, McKinney, Texas, has been awarded a $13,121,979 modification (P00002) to previously awarded agreement FA8650-19-9-9326 for High Energy Laser Weapon Systems (HELWS). This modification provides for the purchase of one additional HELWS being produced under the basic agreement, including outside continental U.S.

September 17, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
The Air Force Special Operations Command's (AFSOC’s) development of a 60-kW laser weapon system is on track, says AFSOC’s new commander, Lt. Gen. James Slife (l), at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference yesterday.

In a world where a swarm of drones can take out an oil production (WC) system, the military needs advanced tools, including lasers to defeat asymmetric threats. For the past few years, the U.S.

September 3, 2019
 

General Dynamics Information Technology Inc., Fairfax, Virginia, has been awarded a $30,837,185 face value cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for bioeffects research of directed energy effects. This contract provides for research on directed energy systems to assist in transitioning Department of Defense technologies. Work will be performed at Joint Base San Antonio, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and is expected to be complete by November 28, 2025. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and three offers were received. Fiscal 2019 research and development funds in the amount of $250,000 will be obligated at the time of award.

September 27, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
Appearing at the Modern Day Marine industry-related exhibits, Boeing’s compact laser weapon system is shown mounted on OshKosh Defense’s joint light tactical vehicle (JLTV). Credit: Kimberly Underwood

This summer, the U.S. Marine Corps accepted delivery of five compact laser weapon systems, and is now considering many aspects of the weapon’s functionality. The service is looking for reliable, cost effective protection against the growing threat of unmanned aerial vehicles.

September 7, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) continues its development of low-power lasers for use on MDA-configured MQ-9 Reapers from General Atomics. Photo credit: General Atomics

The Missile Defense Agency has funded a second investment in an airborne low-power laser for missile defense. In some cases, it has increased initial funding levels by more than 200 percent with its August 31 contract award modifications to the Boeing Co., General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems and Lockheed Martin Corp.

The three companies are pursuing aspects of the agency’s development of a low-power laser weapon for use on an aircraft—such as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)—and in conjunction with the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).

August 15, 2018
 

UES Inc, Dayton, Ohio, has been awarded a $49,057,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for research and development associated with the Flash and Laser Airborne Protection System program. The contract is for exploratory and advanced research and development of materials and technologies to control, manipulate, and protect against photonic energy. Research involved in the processing, structure, properties and performance of photonic materials will provide a means to mature and transition the highest priority products needed by the Air Force.

March 1, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
Under the High-Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-dazzler with Surveillance (HELIOS) program, the Navy is swiftly pursuing laser weapons for use on surface ships. The technology will combine the lethality of a laser weapon with surveillance capabilities and an integrated optical dazzler, a non-lethal device that disables sensors or humans visually. Photo Credit: Lockheed Martin, artist rendering of Lockheed Martin’s HELIOS System

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.

March 1, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
3-D metal printing is breaking the mold of traditional manufacturing designs. Credit: Optisys

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.

February 13, 2018
 

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.

January 1, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
The Navy is adding high-energy lasers to the fleet aboard the DDG 51 Flight IIA “in the shortest time frame possible,” says a Naval Sea Systems Command spokesperson.

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.

January 30, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
The USS Ponce (second ship in the foreground) once carried the first laser weapon demonstrator. Now the Navy will begin fielding a laser weapon and optic dazzler for for its Naval Sea Systems Command aboard a DDG  51 FLT IIA by 2020.

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.

January 1, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
Laser weapons could be integrated into all future Marine Corps vehicles, such as the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, or JLTV, says Jeff Tomczak, deputy director of the Science & Technology (S&T) Division at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory. Oshkosh Defense

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.

December 11, 2017
 
By using laser-generated, hologram-like 3-D images flashed into photosensitive resin, researchers can build complex parts in a fraction of the time of traditional layer-by-layer printing. Credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

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.

October 6, 2017
 

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.

August 22, 2017
 

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).

December 16, 2016
 

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.

December 12, 2016
 

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).

August 24, 2016
 

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.

August 22, 2016
 
General Atomics is being awarded a contract to design, build and test in the laboratory key laser subsystems required to demonstrate precision tracking.

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.

January 25, 2016
 

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.

December 30, 2015
 

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.

October 26, 2015
 
Northrop Grumman has been awarded a potential $91 million contract for the Solid State High Power Laser Weapon System Demonstrator program.

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.

September 30, 2015
 

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.

June 12, 2015
 

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.

June 12, 2015
 

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.

March 3, 2014
 

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.

October 25, 2013
George I. Seffers

TASC Inc., Andover, Md., has been awarded a $35 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Optical Radiation Bioeffects and Safety (ORBS) program. The objective of the ORBS program is to conduct research on kinetic energy systems to assist in transitioning Defense Department technologies. Research efforts will include the following technical areas: novel laser bioeffects, laser eye protection and advanced technology demonstration, and applied high energy laser bioeffects. Basic and applied research will be conducted on optical radiation hazards expected in future combat scenarios with the view toward development of appropriate countermeasures.

May 22, 2013
George I. Seffers

FLIR Systems Inc., Billerica, Mass., is being awarded a $10,090,426 firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for SEE SPOT III+ Systems, test, teardown and evaluation, repairs, spares and data. The SEE SPOT III+ is a device that provides the user with the ability to view the Special Operations Force Laser Acquisition Markers invisible laser spot in the target scene field view. This contract supports a purchase for the government of Hungary under the Foreign Military Sales Program. Work will be performed in Billerica, Mass., and is expected to be completed by May 2018. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity.  

April 8, 2013
George I. Seffers

 

August 10, 2012
By George Seffers

Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation, Systems Engineering Solutions, Boulder, Colorado, is being awarded a $15 million contract modification for laser effects vulnerability research. The Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico is the contract authority.

July 20, 2012
By George Seffers

MZA Associates Corporation, Albuquerque, New Mexico, is being awarded a $9,787,624 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for a Phase III Small Business Innovation Research project under topic N091-009, entitled "Tactical Beam Director for Airborne High Energy Laser Applications." This contract provides for the finalized design for the MH-60S helicopter beam director and beam control system, fabrication of all components, and integration into a high-power beam director and beam control system. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, California, is the contracting activity.

March 19, 2012
By George Seffers

Northrop Grumman Corporation, McLean, Virginia, recently announced that it has been awarded a $334 million firm-fixed-price contract from the U.S. Air Force to provide Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasure (LAIRCM) systems and support. The LAIRCM system functions by automatically detecting a missile launch, determining if it is a threat and activating a high-intensity laser-based countermeasure system to track and defeat the missile. Northrop Grumman will deliver LAIRCM hardware and provide associated support to the Air Force beginning immediately and continuing through April 2014.

November 4, 2011
By George Seffers

General Atomics, San Diego, California, is being awarded a $12,288,073 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for research and development activities associated with integrated power systems power load modules design and pulsed power loads for future surface combatants. General Atomics will provide the research and development of an advanced integrated power systems power load module that may be used for pulse forming networks that could power future lasers, railguns or radars.

October 7, 2011
By George Seffers

Raytheon Company, Integrated Defense Systems, Tewksbury, Massachusetts, is being awarded a $10,110,934 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for research and development activities associated with Integrated Power Systems power load modules design, and pulsed power loads for future surface combatants. Raytheon will provide the research and development of an advanced Integrated Power Systems power load module that may be used for pulse forming networks that could power future lasers, railguns, or radars. The initial effort will include further refinement of their unique approach to the concept, documenting how the approach could be eventually implemented in a shipboard configuration to meet projected pulsed loads powering needs.

September 30, 2011
By George Seffers

The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, was awarded a $34,077,057 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the research and development services in support of electro-optical and infrared technologies; night vision technology; and laser technologies and payloads for unmanned platforms. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, is the contracting activity.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.