Oct 6, 2015 by Richard Tomkins. (UPI)
Bothell, Wash - A modular, high-power laser is being built for use from a U.S. Army vehicle by Lockheed Martin.
The 60-kilowatt fiber modules system is the first of a new generation of lasers that enters production this month at the company's facility in Washington State.
The system's modular laser design will allow the laser's power to be varied across a wide range -- from 60 kW to 120 kW -- depending on the specific mission and threat, Lockheed Martin said.
"A robust laser system with minimal operational down-time results from the integration of modular fiber-based lasers," said Iain Mckinnie, business development lead for Laser Sensors and Systems, Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training. "With modular lasers, the possibility of a complete system failure due to a single-point disruption is dramatically lessened."
Lockheed Martin said its laser combines multiple fiber modules to generate an intense laser beam. The layered approach reduces the chance for mission disruption as a result of a component failure, maintenance or repair time is also reduced.
"Laser weapons provide a compliment to traditional kinetic weapons in the battlefield," Lockheed Martin said. "In the future, they will offer reliable protection against threats such as swarms of drones or large numbers of rockets and mortars."