General Atomics: Third-Gen Electric Laser Weapon Now Ready

General Atomics: Third-Gen Electric Laser Weapon Now Ready image
May 4, 2015 | Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

While fashions in high-energy lasers have changed as technology progresses, from gas to diode and now fiber, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has stayed its course over more than a decade and believes its third generation of electric laser weapon is ready for prime time.

The company has responded to an Office of Naval Research (ONR) solicitation for a 150-kw laser weapon suitable for installation on DDG-51-class destroyers to counter unmanned aircraft and small boats using only ship power and cooling.

Under ONR’s Solid-State Laser Technology Maturation program, the weapon is to be demonstrated in 2018 on the USS Paul Foster, a decommissioned Spruance-class destroyer that now serves as the U.S. Navy’s ship-defense test vessel at Port Hueneme in California.