ALBUQUERQUE, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Boeing announced it has received an additional U.S. Navy task order to complete the design of the 100-kilowatt Free Electron Laser lab demonstrator.
The $23 million order is part of a contract worth as much as $163 million and is the result of a competitive down-select based on preliminary designs provided in March.
"The Free Electron Laser program will enable Navy ships to defend themselves against new threats with unprecedented speed, precision and power," said Greg Hyslop, vice president and general manager of Boeing Strategic Missile & Defense Systems. "It will transform naval warfare in the next decade by providing an ultra-precise, speed-of-light capability and unlimited magazine depth."
Boeing said the critical design review phase will be completed late next year and will be followed by additional task orders for fabrication and testing in a laboratory environment.
FEL is designed to operate by passing a beam of high-energy electrons through a series of powerful magnetic fields, generating an intense emission of laser light.
Boeing is joined on FEL by U.S. Department of Energy laboratories, academia and industry. The laboratories include the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, Va.; the Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M.; and the Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago.
Major industrial partners include Advanced Energy Systems, Niowave Inc. and SAIC.