U.S. military researchers are hiring two defense companies to develop technology for pod-mountedlaser weaponsto protect manned aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR)-guided surface-to-airmissiles.
Officials of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency are choosing the Northrop Grumman Corp. Aerospace Systems segment in Redondo Beach, Calif., and the Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training segment in Akron, Ohio, for Project Endurance to develop laser weapons to defend aircraft from missiles.
Northrop Grumman is receiving a $14.6 million contract, and Lockheed Martin is receiving an $11.4 million for the Endurance program. The contracts were announced Monday.
Project Endurance, previously part of the DARPA Excalibur laser weapons program, focuses on miniaturizing component technologies, developing high-precision target tracking, identification, and lightweight agile beam control to support target engagement.