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A CO2 laser oscillator/amplifier system which has produced peak output powers of 350 kW in 0.4 us long pulses is described. the output power achieved is shown to be in agreement with a theoretical equation. from these results and from the equation a new laser system has been designed, which it is hoped will produce more than 1 MW peak power. this new design is discussed. one problem associated with high gain amplifiers is their tendency to oscillate. an optical component has been designed which largely overcomes this problem. basically it consists of a moving tape, opaque to 10.6 Â¿m radiation, which is perforated by the rising edge of the Q-switched pulse.