With inherently higher electrical efficiency and beam quality, fiber lasers are in a race to reach maturity before the military makes decisions on the development and deployment of high-energy electric laser weapon systems for defensive and offensive missions. A key step is the U.S. Army’s planned demonstration in 2017 of a 60-kW fiber-laser system developed by Lockheed Martin. But rival solid-state lasers have already exceeded 100 kW in demonstrations and are at a higher technology ...

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