Northrop Grumman selected by Navy for laser weapon program

Northrop Grumman announced on Tuesday that it was selected by the Navy for the first phase of the Solid State Laser Technology Maturation program.

The SSL-TM program is a research and development project that is being implemented by the Navy to mature solid-state, high-power laser weapons. These laser weapons will be mounted on naval ships and used for defense against missile and other threats.

"Lasers provide the Navy a more affordable means of defending ships in harm's way," Steve Hixson, vice president of directed energy at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, said. "Under this contract, Northrop Grumman will complete a conceptual design for a complete laser weapon system to be integrated onto a destroyer or other suitable surface ship."

Northrup Grumman is a company that specializes in providing innovative systems and products in the field of unmanned systems, cyber C4ISR and logistics.

"In 2011, Northrop Grumman worked with (the Office of Naval Research) to demonstrate the first high-energy laser at sea in the Maritime Laser Demonstration," Hixson said. "This proved the basic physics and demonstrated that the core technologies were where they needed to be. ONR's selection of Northrop Grumman for this next step will enable us to help the Navy mature the weapon system for use by sailors in the real world. That means addressing engineering challenges such as reliability and ship integration, and showing we can do so affordably."