Navy to ask industry to develop laser weapon prototype for deployment on helicopters
RIDGECREST, Calif., 4 Aug. 2014. U.S. Navy airborne weapons experts are ready to kick off a program to develop a high-energy laser weapon for manned and unmanned helicopters to perform a variety of military operations at sea.
Officials of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at China Lake Naval Weapons Station in Ridgecrest, Calif., announced Monday that they will issue a solicitation next month for a open industry competition to develop a prototype laser weapon for demonstrations aboard a Navy helicopter.
The program is called High Energy Fiber Laser, and will seek to develop and demonstrate prototype integrated high-energy laser weapon subsystems for installation in a helicopter for airborne laser weapon demonstrations.
Navy officials say they plan to issue the High Energy Fiber Laser program solicitation around 18 Aug. 2014, with a contract award planned for December.
The upcoming solicitation will call for companies to bid on a job to complete the High Energy Fiber Laser integration structure, design, building, testing, and qualifying hardware necessary to build the system.
The contract also will call on the winning company to perform qualification testing, providing drawings, install the prototype system, develop test procedures, and provide system support. Only one award will be made, Navy officials say.
More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/spg/DON/NAVAIR/N68936D1/N6893614R0123/listing.html.