Northrop Grumman Introduces the First Battlefield Laser
Northrop Grumman Corporation today introduced the Firestrike™ laser, a ruggedized, high-energy, solid-state laser designed as a line replaceable unit (LRU) for battlefield applications.
The Firestrike™ laser offers warfighters a 15 kilowatt (kW) fieldable laser as well as a combinable LRU building block for much higher power, based on a laser beam combining architecture validated by Northrop Grumman over many years with the Joint High Power Solid State Laser program, Vesta and Vesta II.
The Firestrike™ laser LRU system is uniquely designed for scaling high-energy lasers to desired power levels. Each 15kW LRU can be combined with multiple units to fit specific warfighting missions and/or platforms, as pictured above. The result is a flexible "game-changing" military capability with tailored lethality. (click to enlarge)
"We are ready to deliver on the promise of defense at the speed of light with Firestrike™," said Dan Wildt, vice president of Directed Energy Systems for Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector. "The Firestrike™ laser power per cubic foot has been greatly enhanced from its successful laboratory predecessors."
He noted the Firestrike™ laser has been hardened for military uses but also was designed with life-cycle costs and reliability in mind. "Firestrike™ is designed for field operations and simple replacement," Wildt added.
"This is a rugged electric laser with power levels, beam quality and runtime suitable for offensive and defensive military utility. Also available is a newly designed laser current source assembly (LCSA), which is compact, and specifically developed to precisely meet Firestrike™'s power needs. Combined with advanced electro optical and/or infrared sensors, the Firestrike™ laser can provide self-defense, precision strike and enhanced situational awareness capabilities."sbip