Navy Taps Lockheed Martin to Build Laser Weapons System
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy has awarded to Lockheed Martin a contract to develop and build a ship-borne laser weapon system.
According to a Jan. 26 contract announcement, Lockheed Martin Aculight Corp. of Bothell, Wash., was being awarded a $150 million cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for the “Surface Navy Laser Weapon System Increment 1, High Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-dazzler with Surveillance System.”
Lockheed Martin Aculight will develop, manufacture and deliver two test units in fiscal 2020. One system will be used for land-based testing. The other will be installed on a Flight IIA version of an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer. Work on the contract is expected to be complete by April 2020. Options, if exercised, could increase the value of the contract to $942.8 million.
The Navy deployed an experimental Laser Weapon System (LaWS), the SEQ-3, on the afloat forward-support base ship USS Ponce in 2014 in the Persian Gulf for three years. The ship was decommissioned last fall and the LaWS was to be transferred to the Naval Surface Weapons Center in Dahlgren, Va., to be used as a test-bed, according to Naval Sea Systems Command. An upgraded version of the SEQ-3 will be installed on the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland later in this year.