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Seeking Next-Gen Lasers: The Air Force has given Boeing a $49 million contract to aid Air Force Research Lab laser research and development efforts at Kirtland AFB, N.M., according to a company release. The work falls under AFRL’s Laser Application Support and In-house Research (LASIR) program that could lead to the “next-generation of laser weapon technologies,” said Scott Fancher, VP and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems. He added that the work represents “potential solutions to equip the warfighter with ultra-precision engagement capability.” It will focus on advances in gas, hybrid electric-gas, and chemical laser systems, but will also engage technologies related to high-power fiber lasers, fiber laser pumps, non-linear optics, solid-state lasers, and diode-pump lasers, according to the release.