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Northrop to develop next-gen military laser technology


Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL). Northrop Grumman photo

REDONDO BEACH, CALIFORNIA (BNS): Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract by US Department of Defense for its new program called the Robust Electric Laser Initiative (RELI).

The company has been given an initial two-year, $8.8 million contract with options that could extend it to a five-year contract valued at $53.3 million, Northrop Grumman said.

RELI is a first step toward developing the next generation of military laser technology for more efficient, lighter and smaller systems.

The programme seeks to increase system efficiency to greater than 30 percent while generating good beam quality, a power level of 25 kilowatts (kW) that is capable of being scaled to 100kW, all of which could be packaged on a military platform.

Solid-state laser systems currently are about 20 percent efficient, according to the Defense Department.

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