Textron Defense Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. company, announced today that its Directed Energy Weapons business line has successfully tested its Joint High-Power Solid State Laser (J-HPSSL) laboratory demonstration device at average power levels in excess of 100 kilowatts. The J-HPSSL program, which is funded by the Joint Technology Office under contract with the U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command, was awarded to Textron Defense Systems in late December 2005.
Textron Defense Systems’ J-HPSSL leverages the company’s proprietary THINZAG(R) solid state laser technology. As a single-aperture power oscillator, the THINZAG optical configuration provides a unique path for scaling solid state lasers to high average power for use in the most stressing mission applications and severe environmental battlefield conditions.
“Our THINZAG technology enables us to achieve and sustain high laser power and beam quality in a compact, ruggedized configuration suitable for the operational environment,” says Dr. John Boness, Textron Defense Systems vice president, Directed Energy Weapons. “As a result, this technology offers the promise of bringing reliable and precise directed energy weapons from the laboratory to the field — from an exciting possibility to a confidence-building reality for warfighters.”
“Our Directed Energy Weapons group has a broad base of laser expertise, firmly grounded in the company’s long history of laser technology research and development,” says Senior Vice President and General Manager Mark Catizone of Textron Defense Systems. “Having reached this high average power goal, we enthusiastically look forward to additional successes as our THINZAG technology continues to mature.”
Textron Defense Systems has decades of laser technology expertise, dating back to its earliest predecessor, the Avco Everett Research Laboratory. Today, the company participates in two of the largest solid state directed energy weapon development programs in the United States: the Joint Technology Office J-HPSSL program and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System, or HELLADS, program.