At MBDA Germany a concept for a high-energy laser weapon system is investigated, which is based on existing
industrial laser sources. Due to the enormous progress in the field of high-power fiber lasers, commercial industrial
fiber lasers are now available delivering a nearly-diffraction limited beam quality with power levels of up to 10 kW. By
using a geometric beam coupling scheme, a number of individual high-power fiber laser beams are combined together
using one common beam director telescope. A total laser beam power of more than 100 kW can be achieved, which is
sufficient for an operational laser weapon system.
The individual beams from the different lasers are steered by servo-loops using fast tip-tilt mirrors. This principle
enables the concentration of the total laser beam power at one common focal point on a distant target, also allowing
fine tracking of target movements and first-order compensation of turbulence effects on laser beam propagation. The
proposed beam combination concept was demonstrated by using different experimental set-ups. A number of
experiments were performed successfully to investigate laser beam target interaction and target fine tracking, also at
large distances and at moving targets. Content and results of these investigations are reported, which demonstrate the
complete engagement sequence for a C-RAM scenario. This includes subsequent steps of target acquisition by radar
and IR optics, followed by large angle coarse tracking, active fine tracking and destruction of the target by the laser
system. This successful implementation of geometric beam combining is an important step for the realization of a laser
weapon system in the near future.