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Navy, Lockheed to Test Laser System on USS Little Rock LCS

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The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin plan to integrate the company’s 150-kilowatt laser system into the USS Little Rock littoral combat ship as part of the service’s risk reduction efforts, USNI News reported Monday.

LCS-9, which is potentially slated for deployment to the U.S. 4th Fleet, will be fitted with the high-energy laser ahead of plans to begin LCS lethality and survivability modification activities starting fiscal year 2022.

Joe DePietro, vice president and general manager of small combatants and ship systems at Lockheed, told USNI News that the two-phase modernization effort includes naval strike missile capabilities and surface electronic warfare technologies.

He noted that directed-energy systems and laser systems could be added to vessels that don’t need a large amount of space and weight.

The Navy previously selected amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland to assess the 150kw laser’s capacity as part of the Solid-State Laser – Technology Maturation program.