Navy Taps Northrop to Develop Laser Weapon Prototypes for Ships

(Defense Department photo)(Defense Department photo)

The Navy is working with Northrop Grumman Corp. on a three-year deal to develop a ship-board laser weapon engineered to incinerate enemy drones, small boats, aircraft, ships and missiles, service officials told Scout Warrior.

“This system employs multi-spectral target detection and track capabilities as well as an advanced off-axis beam director with improved fiber laser technologies to provide extended target engagement ranges. Improvements of high power fiber lasers used to form the laser beam enable the increased power levels and extended range capabilities. Lessons learned, operating procedures, updated hardware and software derived from previous systems will be incorporated in this demonstration,” Dr. Tom Beutner, director of the air warfare and weapons branch at the Office of Naval Research, told Scout Warrior in a written statement.

The 12-month, $53-million deal with the office will develop a Laser Weapon System Demonstrator through three phases: an initial design phase, ground-testing phase and then weapons testing at sea aboard a Navy Self Defense test ship, a Northrop statement said.

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Kris Osborn
Kris Osborn is the managing editor of Scout Warrior.