Northrop Developing New Power System to Increase US Navy Laser, Radar Range

Northrop Grumman is developing a new ship-board power system for the US Navy that could increase the lethality and range of its lasers and radars.

Called the Multifunction Prime Power System (MPPS), the technology is smaller but provides highly-efficient mobile energy to support high-powered weapons on military ships.

It will consolidate existing US Navy ship-board systems to provide better power solutions than present technology.

According to developer Northrop Grumman, the MPPS will greatly enhance the efficiency and volume of power generation, storage, and transmission needed to operate weapon systems.

“Every key weapon system, every radar comes with its own power, prime power,” company official Bob Sacca told Warrior Maven.

“Think of prime power as a power substation in your neighborhood. We have developed a common power system that will support multiple radars, lasers, and every electronic warfare (EW) system.”


The US Navy recognizes that for a sophisticated EW system to operate, it needs high amounts of exportable, mobile electrical power.

Additional power is needed when operating stronger or longer-range electronic weapon systems.

Developers must also consider the available space on a vessel when designing a new power system, as it must be stored and transmitted efficiently.

“This multifunction prime power system is really efficient in terms of supplying power to these programs,” Northrop engineer Matthew Superczynski told the outlet.

“Just as importantly, we’re setting the architecture up for the future of the Navy. This architecture really gives us a lot of flexibility. We can add additional sources to it, we have more power throughput, we can add energy storage if we want to support a laser.”

The company and the US Navy plan to test an MPPS prototype by the end of this year.

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