ARLINGTON, Va., May 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy is seeking development of a solid-state laser weapon and plans to solicit bids from industry for a system prototype.
"We believe it's time to move forward with solid-state lasers and shift the focus from limited demonstrations to weapon prototype development and related technology advancement," said Peter Morrison, program officer of the Solid-State Laser Technology Maturation program of the Office of Naval Research.
According to the ONR, an industry day briefing will be held May 16 to detail the envisaged system and to prepare industry for a future solicitation of proposals and bids.
The program will build on previous ONR direct-energy research and initiatives, including a proof-of-concept maritime laser demonstration in which a small boat target was disabled and a demonstration in which a laser was used to down small unmanned test aircraft.
The Navy, it said, plans to be the first to operationally deploy high-energy laser weapons.