Rolls-Royce delivers ColdFire system to Lockheed Martin for directed energy tests

Posted on 9 December, 2020 by Advance 

Rolls-Royce has delivered an upgraded thermal management and power system from its ColdFire Solutions technology line to Lockheed Martin for power directed energy field testing in 2021.

Image courtesy Rolls-Royce

The ColdFire Solutions system was delivered to Lockheed Martin for integration and testing. It is a standalone system, minimising platform resource demands and will power a Lockheed Martin 100kw directed energy system during range testing next year.

This will be the latest field test of the Rolls-Royce technology, developed at the company’s LibertyWorks advanced technology unit in Indianapolis. The technology has been developed to support military customers to meet their needs for enhanced directed energy platforms.

John Shade, Senior Vice President, Rolls-Royce LibertyWorks Advanced Programs, said, “Thermal management and power systems are a crucial enabler of directed energy reaching its full potential. Rolls-Royce has a proven track record in developing this technology and solving the challenges inherent in directed energy applications.”

Rolls-Royce has been engaged with directed energy technology development for more than a decade, and has invested $50 million in designing and testing systems in both laboratory and field tests. The company will draw upon this experience for the 2021 field test and demonstrate ‘endless magazine’ capability, which far outperforms the limits of battery powered technology.

Thermal management expertise is critical to the success of directed energy systems, due to the creation of a large amount of heat by the laser system. Rolls-Royce’s innovative ColdFire technology has proven highly effective in solving this extremely difficult challenge associated with directed energy.

The ColdFire system is versatile and can be tailored to suit platform needs. Rolls-Royce has been involved in discussions with military operators to address solutions for land-based, airborne and sea vessels.