Friday, January 29, 2010

Northrop Grumman Maritime Laser Clears Design Hurdles

Northrop Grumman Maritime Laser Clears Design Hurdles
January 29, 2010

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – The Maritime Laser Demonstration (MLD) system being developed by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has passed two milestone reviews by the Office of Naval Research, which point to the real potential of the MLD weapon system design.

Representatives from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army and the High
Energy Laser Joint Technology Office conducted a critical design review
and critical safety review of the MLD at the Dahlgren Naval Surface
Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Va.

"These reviews indicate that our MLD design should meet the
Navy's objectives in future demonstrations," said Steve Hixson, vice
president of Advanced Concepts – Space and Directed Energy Systems for
Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. "Next we will finalize
detailed test plans and move into land-based, live fire tests."

Northrop Grumman will conduct an at-sea demonstration of this
revolutionary capability, according to Dan Wildt, vice president,
Directed Energy Systems. "We will prove that the pinpoint accuracy and
response capability of our MLD system can protect Navy ships and
personnel by keeping threats at a safe distance. We will accomplish
this while leveraging technologies with proven scalability that may
ultimately enable addressing additional threats of interest to the

The company received a contract from the Office of Naval
Research in July 2009 to demonstrate an innovative laser weapon system
by the end of 2010 suitable for operating in a marine environment and
able to defeat small boat threats, and ultimately could be applicable
to other self-defense missions. The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity MLD contract has a ceiling value of up to $98 million and an expected overall completion date of June 2014.

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