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. Northrop Grumman Tooling Up First Ray Gun Production Line

An engineer with Northrop Grumman Space Technology in Redondo Beach, Calif., monitors a solid-state laser as it generates a beam at the company's new Directed Energy Production Facility. The specialized facility is the first of its kind in the U.S. by private industry dedicated to the production of high-energy laser systems for the military services.
by Staff Writers
Redondo Beach CA (SPX) Jan 17, 2007
Northrop Grumman Corporation today opened a specialized facility exclusively for system integration and production of high-energy laser systems for military uses - the first of its kind by private industry in the United States. Located at the Space Technology sector's Space Park campus, the Directed Energy Production Facility is specifically designed for the production of high-energy, solid-state lasers and their integration onto military vehicles.

"Powerful military lasers, with their speed-of-light targeting capabilities and cost-effective operation, have the potential to transform the way we equip our armed forces defending our country abroad and protecting it at home against terrorist threats," said Alexis Livanos, president of Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector.

Noted Mike McVey, president of the company's Directed Energy Systems business area, "This new facility shows our commitment to directed energy systems for the military and reinforces our industrial leadership in all of the laser systems we build. This facility is an example of our long-term commitment to being the premier provider of high-energy lasers to the U.S. government, and it demonstrates our vision of how we will achieve that goal."

The first work in the facility will be for Phase 3 of the Joint High-Power Solid State Laser (JHPSSL) program, which will build and demonstrate the first 100 kW solid-state laser sufficient for a variety of force protection battlefield and precision strike missions. The facility also will house other laser systems the company is spearheading.

The facility will provide the capability to produce current and future generation technologies of lasers including fiber lasers even more powerful than 100kW. There will also be an integration area where electric lasers are integrated onto various military platforms, such as armored combat vehicles. With class 1,000 clean rooms and integrated laser safety systems, the facility can produce multiple laser systems at the same time.

Related Links
Northrop Grumman Press Kit For High-Energy, Solid-State Laser Capabilities
Learn about laser weapon technology at SpaceWar.com

Raytheon Tests New Laser Weapon
Washington (UPI) Jan 10, 2007
Raytheon announced Monday that it had "successfully tested a prototype solid-state laser weapon." The new laser system "combines the proven capabilities of the Phalanx weapon system with the power and effectiveness of lasers to defeat rockets, mortars and missiles at an operationally significant range," the company said.

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