Northrup Grumman Opens High-Energy Laser Facility

Via Air Force Online comes the news that Northrup Grumman has opened the "first of its kind by private industry in the US” high-energy laser facility dedicated solely to military systems at Redondo Beach.

The Daily Breeze has the details:

The Directed Energy Production Facility, part of Northrop’s Redondo Beach-based Space Technology sector, represents the first of its kind by private industry in the United States and probably the world, company officials said.
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The new facility has three large laser laboratories to produce solid-state lasers, which use electric power to create an intense beam of light. The site also will be used to integrate lasers into larger defense systems….

Northrop is building on the laser technology it inherited from TRW Inc. when it bought the company in 2002….

The Joint High-Power Solid State Laser program will be the first work conducted in the new facility, Northrop said. In its third phase, this Department of Defense program will build and demonstrate the first 100-kilowatt solid-state laser.

The Northrop Grumman press release can be found here; far more interesting, however, is this animated and live video from Northrop Grumman of the defensive and tactical applications of laser technology on land, sea and air.

While you’re watching video and thinking about lasers and unexploded ordinance, be sure to check out this video from the White Sands Missle Range in southern New Mexico. The High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility  is located at White Sands.