Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) recently completed the preliminary design review for a high-energy laser prototype that 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. 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.
“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.”
Marking the official transition to the Indirect Fires Protection Capability – High Energy Laser (IFPC-HEL) endeavor, in January, the U.S. Army modified the existing contract to support on-going efforts to increase laser capability. In late 2019, the U.S. Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) also announced a High Energy Laser Scaling Initiative (HELSI) contract award by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) that will support the IFPC-HEL effort. These design initiatives follow the progress made on the High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstrator (HEL-TVD).
The company will test the prototype at progressively higher powers later this year to prove the coherent beam combining design. Northrop Grumman is a technology company, focused on global security and human discovery. Our pioneering solutions equip our customers with capabilities they need to connect, advance and protect the U.S. and its allies. Driven by a shared purpose to solve our customers’ toughest problems, our 90,000 employees define possible every day.