Lockheed Martin Achieves New Heights in Laser Technology with 500 kW-Class Laser
New Benchmark on Track
Lockheed Martin, the American global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technologies company, is on course to establish a new benchmark in laser technology with a 500 kW-class laser, the most powerful laser in the company's history.
This feat follows the company's development of a 300 kW-class laser, a project backed by the Department of Defense's Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering (OUSD R&E).
The development of the 500 kW-class lasers is a product of a new contract granted by the OUSD R&E and forms the second phase of the High Energy Laser Scaling Initiative (HELSI).
The primary objective of this phase is to increase the laser's power level while maintaining superior beam quality and optimizing factors such as efficiency, size, weight, and volume for the continuous-wave high-energy laser sources.
This technology advancement will mitigate risks for the Department of Defense's acquisition and deployment of high-powered laser weapon systems across all six military branches.
Rick Cordaro, Vice President of Mission Systems & Weapons at Lockheed Martin, underscored the significance of the milestone. “OUSD R&E has invested in maturing high-energy lasers to aid America's warfighters.
Concurrently, Lockheed Martin has bolstered our production infrastructure in anticipation of the Department of Defense's demand for laser weapons that offer additional layers of protection," said Cordaro, as he was quoted by media reports.
He added that the 500-kW laser would integrate the successes of the 300-kW system and the insights garnered from previous programs to fortify the defense against a spectrum of threats.
Lockheed Martin had been chosen by OUSD (R&E) in 2019 to amplify its spectral beam combined high energy laser architecture to the 300 kW-class level, part of the HELSI initiative. The company recently achieved this target ahead of schedule. The HELSI laser is set to aid demonstration efforts with the Army's IFPC-HEL, which is lined up for laboratory and field testing within the year.
The achievement in laser technology reflects the Lockheed Martin's company’s creed of “unwavering commitment to 21st Century Security.”
By developing cutting-edge technologies, the company provides the necessary speed, agility, and mission solutions to ensure that the U.S. and its allies stay one step ahead. This effort was made possible through substantial investments in directed energy technology and the dedicated work of Lockheed Martin's teams in Washington state and Owego, New York.
Lockheed Martin, renowned as a dependable weapon system integrator, has consistently displayed its commitment to maturing its directed energy technology and expanding its production capacity to construct laser weapon systems at scale. This OUSD (R&E) HELSI accomplishment underlines Lockheed Martin's devotion to developing advanced technologies that furnish speed and agility to Joint All-Domain Operations.