Boeing develops lasers

Boeing has been awarded a $49m US Air Force contract to help advance research in laser weapon technology.

The contract is to support research, design, development and testing of technologies including gas, hybrid electric-gas and chemical laser systems.

Boeing will coordinate tests of the effect of lasers and perform prototyping of technology including semiconductor lasers and laser-based infrared countermeasures.

The work will support the Laser Center of Excellence which brings to together organisations such as the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Air Force Research Lab and the University of New Mexico.

‘This air force programme represents an important opportunity for Boeing in continuing to help develop the next generation of laser weapon technologies,’ said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems. ‘The various laser technologies being developed represent potential solutions to equip the warfighter with ultra-precision engagement capability.’