FIRESTRIKE: Northrop Unveils Weaponized Solid-State Laser

FILED UNDER: Defense, Lasers, Technology

Weapons contractor Northrop Grumman have announced a breakthrough in battlefield tech with the creation of the world’s first weaponized solid-state laser. Called FIRESTRIKE, the ruggedized, high-energy, 15kW laser powers-up in less than half a second and is fully-developed, ready for action now.

The solid-state electric laser is still less powerful than its chemical counterparts also under development, such as the Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) and Airborne Laser (ABL), but is well ahead in terms of logistical and safety considerations.

The chemical variety rely on large tanks of toxic fuel and emit corrosive gases as a by-product, but solid-state lasers have, up until now, been hindered by their limited strength. Each FIRESTRIKE unit weighs in at 400lb, which is still a long way from hand-held ray-guns, but a big improvement over previous tech.

One of the best features of the FIRESTRIKE (apart from its compact box-like size), is its scaling ability, where multiple units can be linked together to create a more powerful beam. This flexibility enables the assembly of a high-power defensive/offensive weapon with rapid tear-down time and easy transportation.

GlobeNewswire (Press Release)

Comments (One Response):

You mention that multiple lasers can be linked to make a more powerful laser. How do they get the beams together if each beam needs a 400 lb. box?

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