Navy picks seven companies to design prototype high-energy solid-state laser weapons for surface warships

March 20, 2023
Laser weapons will detect and defeat unmanned vehicles, missiles, intelligence and reconnaissance, rockets, artillery rounds, and mortar shells.

DAHLGREN, Va. – U.S. Navy surface warfare experts are asking seven U.S. electro-optics companies to design prototype solid-state high-energy laser weapons for surface warships under terms of a combined $75 million contract announced Thursday.

Officials of the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division in Dahlgren, Va., is asking these seven companies for the fabrication and delivery of prototypes and equipment in support of solid-state high-energy laser weapon systems.

The companies chosen to develop laser weapons prototypes for surface warships are:

Related: Navy asks industry to build ship solid-state laser weapon for realistic testing at sea

-- The Rolls-Royce North American Technologies Inc. LibertyWorks segment in Indianapolis;

-- General Atomics in San Diego;

-- the Leidos Dynetics segment in Huntsville, Ala.;

-- II-VI Aerospace & Defense in Murrieta, Calif.

-- The Lockheed Martin Corp. Aculight segment in Bothell, Wash.

-- The nLIGHT Inc. Nutronics segment in Longmont, Colo.; and

-- NUBURU Inc. in Englewood, Colo.

Related: High-energy laser weapons move quickly from prototype to deployment

These seven companies each will receive at least $500, and will split as much as $75 million, based on contract orders over the next five years.

The companies will develop prototype shipboard laser weapons able to detect and defeat targets like unmanned vehicles, missiles, intelligence and reconnaissance systems, rockets, artillery rounds, and mortar shells.

The system’s modular, scalable design offers significant reductions in size, weight, and power consumption to suit air, land, and sea-based platforms.

Related: Navy shipboard laser weapon kills boats and UAVs during three-month at-sea tests in Persian Gulf

These laser weapons prototypes are expected to offer output power of between 100 and 300 kilowatts, lightweight efficient thermal management, short dwell times, rapid retargeting, and long target ranges.

On these contracts, the seven companies will do the work in Indianapolis; San Diego; Huntsville, Ala.; Murrieta, Calif.; Bothell, Wash.; Longmont and Englewood, Colo., and should be finished by March 2028.

For more information contact the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division online at

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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