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We investigated experimentally the potential of generating high power gain-switched pulses from a two-section laser diode containing a laterally tapered energy-storing section and a ridge-waveguide modulation section. In particular, picosecond pulses with energies above 20 pJ and peak powers about 1 W were obtained by electrical pulse modulation at a repetition rate of 250 MHz. Large-signal operation up to the GHz range was also demonstrated. The lateral far-field pattern exhibited a single lobe subtending an angle near the diffraction limit, which showed that the lateral mode was well-controlled by the ridge-waveguide section.