U.S. defense contractor Northrop Grumman announced on Monday that it recently completed the preliminary design review for a high-energy laser prototype.
As noted by the company, the new 300-kilowatt-class laser weapon system will feature an architecture scalable to more than a megawatt for the U.S. Department of Defense.
The review establishes the company’s technical approach for precise, low-cost, speed-of-light technology for military operations.
“This is an important step in the ability to combine high-power laser beams into a single beam that can be scaled for maximum power,” said Robert Fleming, vice president and general manager, strategic space systems, Northrop Grumman. “We’re on track to demonstrate the technology, leveraging our decades of experience in the field.”
In March 2021, the U.S. Department of Defense awarded Northrop Grumman a $72 million contract under the High Energy Laser Scaling Initiative (HELSI) to demonstrate a high-energy laser prototype using Northrop Grumman’s coherent beam combining technology.
The company will test the prototype at progressively higher powers later this year to prove the coherent beam combining design.