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Photo Release -- Northrop Grumman Announces the FIRESTRIKE(tm) Laser, World's First Weaponized Solid-State Laser for U.S. Military Services

REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Nov. 13, 2008 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) today introduced the FIRESTRIKE(tm) laser, a ruggedized, high-energy, solid-state laser designed as a line replaceable unit (LRU) for battlefield applications, ready for order now.

Photos accompanying this release are available at http://media.primezone.com/noc/

The FIRESTRIKE(tm) laser offers warfighters a 15 kilowatt (kW) fieldable laser as well as a combinable LRU building block for much higher power, based on a laser beam combining architecture validated by Northrop Grumman over many years with the Joint High Power Solid State Laser program, Vesta and Vesta II.

"We are ready to deliver on the promise of defense at the speed of light with FIRESTRIKE(tm)," said Dan Wildt, vice president of Directed Energy Systems for Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector. "The FIRESTRIKE(tm) laser power per cubic foot has been greatly enhanced from its successful laboratory predecessors."

He noted the FIRESTRIKE(tm) laser has been hardened for military uses but also was designed with life-cycle costs and reliability in mind. "FIRESTRIKE(tm) is designed for field operations and simple replacement," Wildt added.

"This is a rugged electric laser with power levels, beam quality and runtime suitable for offensive and defensive military utility. Also available is a newly designed laser current source assembly (LCSA), which is compact, and specifically developed to precisely meet FIRESTRIKE(tm)'s power needs. Combined with advanced electro optical and/or infrared sensors, the FIRESTRIKE(tm) laser can provide self-defense, precision strike and enhanced situational awareness capabilities."

The FIRESTRIKE(tm) laser is a line replaceable system that allows for scaling a laser weapon to desired power levels for specific warfighting applications and platforms. Northrop Grumman believes that FIRESTRIKE(tm) laser will form the backbone of future laser weapon systems.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.



 FIRESTRIKE(tm) Laser Features

 Power              15kW laser
 Beam Quality       Nominally 1.5 times the diffraction limit
 Size               Laser head - 12" x 23" x 40" (width, depth, height)
                    Current source - 9" x 13" x 30"
 Runtime            Continuous, as long as power and coolant are 
                    provided
 Instant Turn-on    Zero to full power in less than 1/2 second
 Safety             Remote operation, customer interlock access, 
                    internal safety sensors
 Control            Common Command and Control (C2) systems and 
                    Ethernet interfaces
 Low Power Setting  Provides nominally 100 watt alignment beam
 Weight             400 lbs per LRU
 Ruggedization      Hardened LRUs with compact SSL technology 
                    engineered for mobility and field operations
CONTACT:  Linda Javier
          Northrop Grumman Space Technology
          310.813.5614
          Cell: 310.386.1644
          linda.javier@ngc.com
 
Images
FIRESTRIKE TM Laser
The FIRESTRIKE TM laser LRU system is uniquely designed for scaling high-energy lasers to desired power levels. Each 15kW LRU can be combined with multiple units to fit specific warfighting missions and/or platforms, as pictured above. The result is a flexible "game-changing" military capability with tailored lethality.


FIRESTRIKE LRU
Cutaway view of Northrop Grumman's 15kW FIRESTRIKE Line Replaceable Unit