General Atomics, Boeing will develop high energy laser weapon for US Army


US Army High Energy Laser Weapon System: US electromagnetic and electric power system company General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has partnered with another US defence and aerospace giant Boeing to develop a 300kW-class solid state Distributed Gain High Energy Laser Weapon System for the US Army, GA-EMS announced on Monday.

The contract has been awarded to General Atomics and Boeing by the US Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO).

GA-EMS and Boeing will deliver a 300 kW-class distributed gain laser with an integrated Boeing beam director. The objective of this contract is a demonstration of the design.

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GA-EMS Boeing High-Energy Laser Weapon System US Army

Laser Beam Director. (GA-EMS)

“The high power, compact laser weapon subsystem prototype that GA-EMS will deliver under this contract will produce a lethal output greater than anything fielded to date,” said Scott Forney, President of GA-EMS.

“This technology represents a leap-ahead capability for air and missile defense that is necessary to support the Army’s modernization efforts and defeat next-generation threats in a multi-domain battle-space,” Forney said in a statement sent to Defence Star.

GA-EMS said the partnership combines both companies’ expertise in directed energy to deliver best-in-class, combat-ready protection for the warfighter with unmatched speed, performance, safety and affordability.

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“Specifically, the system will leverage GA-EMS’ scalable Distributed Gain Laser technology with Boeing’s beam director and precision acquisition, tracking and pointing software to provide a complete demonstrator with sophisticated laser and beam control,” said the company.

High Energy Laser Weapon System

GA-EMS Boeing High-Energy Laser Weapon System US Army

Laser Weapon Module. (Photo: GA-EMS)

Michael Perry, Vice President for Lasers and Advanced Sensors at GA-EMS describes the laser as a packaged version of the 7th Generation of the company’s Distributed Gain Design that has already been demonstrated.

“The laser system employs two Gen 7 laser heads in a very compact and lightweight package. Recent architectural improvements have enabled our single-beam DG Lasers to achieve comparable beam quality to fiber lasers in a very simple design without the need for beam combination,” Perry said.

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Cindy Gruensfelder, Boeing.

Cindy Gruensfelder, Boeing.

Cindy Gruensfelder, Vice President and General Manager of Boeing’s Missile and Weapon Systems, said the company would now take the next step in delivering this critical capability to the Army.

“Our joint offering will leverage proven, deployed technologies to provide an industry-leading solution on an accelerated timeline,” she added.

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