Air Force chooses three companies for directed-energy weapons materials
Three U.S. companies are finding ways to create and use new materials for directed-energy weapons, as well as to protect U.S. and allied weapon systems and warfighters from these same kinds of weapons.
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio - Three U.S. companies are finding ways to create and use new materials for directed-energy weapons, as well as to protect U.S. and allied weapon systems and warfighters from these same kinds of weapons.
U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) officials at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, awarded contracts and task orders to General Dynamics Information Technology in Fairfax, Va.; Azimuth Corp. in Beavercreek, Ohio; and UES Inc. in Dayton, Ohio, to advance materials technologies that control and protect light and electromagnetic energy sources. The three companies will share as much as $121.1 million for materials research and survivability studies involving hardened materials and photonic materials. The three companies will work on advancing hardened materials for sensor protection; hardened structural materials; and personnel and aircrew protection. The goal is to add capabilities and increased survivability for aircrews and systems that lead to increased mission effectiveness for the warfighter.
|Three companies are developing materials for offensive/defensive directed-energy weapons.|
Key areas include optical materials and processing; hardening materials and processing; electro-optic and infrared sensor protection; warfighter protection; structural protection; optical technology; studies on functional materials; threat defeat; and high-energy laser source materials. The program focuses on agile limiters research; high-performance optical coatings for visor-based aircrew protection; optical materials, ceramics, and processing technologies; and radio-frequency (RF) photonics and hybrid optical apertures.
Azimuth won a $9.6 million task order to develop new ceramic materials for laser gain media and plasmonic systems for optical components and devices. Separately, Azimuth won an $8.7 million program task order to develop new materials that protect aircrews against lasers operating in the visible and near infrared spectral regions.
UES won a $9.4 million task order to develop materials for advanced RF photonic components, plasmonic and hybrid aperture schemes, and materials for next-generation systems.
Contractors will do most of the work at AFRL facilities at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and finish by 2020. Azimuth will do work in Camarillo and Santa Rosa, Calif.
FOR MORE INFORMATION visit AFRL online at www.wpafb.af.mil/AFRL