Northrop Grumman funded for $91 million to advance US Navy to 150 kilowatt tactical laser modules

Northrop Grumman’s space and mission systems business will provide support for the Solid State High Power Laser Weapon System Demonstrator program under a potential three-year, $91.1 million U.S. Navy contract.

The Defense Department said Thursday the cost-plus-fixed-fee contract has a base value of $53.1 million and base period of performance through Oct. 21, 2016.

Northrop will perform work in California in support of the Office of Naval Research‘s efforts to further develop the weapon systems design and components as well as boost the lethality of its laser weapon systems, DoD added.

The obligated amount of $36.5 million at the time of award is from the Navy’s research, development, test and evaluation funds for fiscal years 2015 and 2016.

The US government believes that improvements in lethality may be achieved through maturation and optimization of a variety of system characteristics, including laser power, beam quality, beam director architecture, and other physical and optical aspects of the laser system design.

53 page description of the Solid State, High Power Laser Weapon System Demonstrator (LWSD) Design, Development and Demonstration for Surface Navy, USN

Government estimates indicate that systems with laser power of 100-150 kW may be supportable using ship power and cooling.

The Government is interested in an integrated TLCM, as demonstrated in Figure 1 below, which will
include, at a minimum:
• The high power SSL subsystem,
• The beam director subsystem (including accommodation for Mission Specific Modules described later in this document),
• The targeting and tracking subsystem,
• The fire control subsystem, and
• The necessary power or cooling subsystems to address interface or capacity issues that might be presented by the available ship utilities.

SOURCES – Navy, Office of Naval Research, Northrop Grumman