Military Embedded Systems

Low power laser demonstrator gets funding extension from MDA


October 31, 2018

Mariana Iriarte

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

SUNNYVALE, Calif. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) officials extended a contract with Lockheed Martin by nine-months to continue development of its Low Power Laser Demonstrator (LPLD) missile interceptor concept. The contract extension is worth approximately $25.5 million.

This program builds on a 2017 contract to develop an initial LPLD concept. Over the course of this contract, Lockheed Martin will mature its LPLD concept to a tailored critical design review phase, which will bring the design to a level that can support full-scale fabrication.

Lockheed Martin’s LPLD concept consists of a fiber laser system on a high-performing, high-altitude airborne platform. LPLD is designed to engage missiles during their boost phase — the short window after launch — which is the ideal time to destroy the threat, before it can deploy multiple warheads and decoys.

“We have made great progress on our LPLD design, and in this stage we are particularly focused on maturing our technology for beam control – the ability to keep the laser beam stable and focused at operationally relevant ranges,” said Sarah Reeves, vice president for Missile Defense Programs at Lockheed Martin Space.

Lockheed Martin expands on advanced technology through its laser device, beam control capabilities, and platform integration – ranging from internal research and development investments in systems like ATHENA to programs such as LANCE for the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Continued LPLD development will take place at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, California campus through July 2019.


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