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Alfalight lands potential $49M deal for laser dazzlers

30 May 2014

US Marine Corps agrees five-year contract with the Wisconsin firm for non-lethal green lasers.

Madison, Wisconsin, based Alfalight, the former laser diode manufacturer that now specializes in laser systems for defense and security applications, has signed a contract with the US Marine Corps worth a maximum $49 million.

Under the terms of the five-year deal, Alfalight will start delivering its green laser dazzlers (officially known as "non-lethal ocular disruptors with enhanced safety", or NLOD-ES) to the Marine Corps Systems Command in Virginia later this year.

Alfalight’s compact green lasers are designed to engage and warn potential threats in an eye-safe way. Earlier this year the firm said that it had received a $1.7 million order for similar sources that are set to be used by the United States Naval Surface Warfare Center (Dahlgren Division) for long-range “ocular disruption” applications.

CEO Mohan Warrior said of the Marine Corps deal: "This significant award builds on Alfalight's many years of success in high-performance laser systems for the US government."

"It further validates our strategic focus on designing and manufacturing rugged, integrated laser systems for the defense and security markets. We look forward to supporting the Marines to expand their non-lethal capability set."

The major contract comes just a year after Alfalight sold its laser diode manufacturing operations to the Arizona company Compound Photonics, which intends to use the technology in its laser projector systems for mobile devices.

Originally focused on the optical telecommunications market, back in 2011 Alfalight attracted investment from In-Q-Tel, the venture investment wing of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The green laser dazzlers that it has developed include a rifle-mounted 330 mW, 532 nm system that has a range of up to 2 km and is said to be eye-safe at distances beyond 20 meters (NLOD-1), and a similar lightweight version (NLOD-2) that weighs only 7 ounces and requires one fewer lithium ion battery for electrical power.

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