Chemical High-Energy Laser Systems

Chemical High Energy LaserAll of the U.S. military's megawatt-class laser systems are chemical lasers designed and built by Northrop Grumman. Two of those pioneering, high-power laser systems continue to lead the way for the laser weapon systems of tomorrow: The Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser onboard the Airborne Laser Test Bed, and the Tactical High Energy Laser.

Airborne Laser Testbed
Airborne Laser Testbed (ALTB)

Using two solid state lasers and a megawatt-class Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser (COIL) housed aboard a modified Boeing 747-400 Freighter, the ALTB demonstrates the potential of using directed energy as a viable technology for ballistic missile defense applications.

Tactical High Energy Laser
Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL)
The U.S. Army's Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL), designed and built by Northrop Grumman, is a critical accomplishment in military directed energy initiatives because it proved that existing technology could be used successfully for a terminal defense system that was fast, accurate and capable of close-in kills with no collateral damage to friendly assets. THEL is a breakthrough for defense at the speed of light.