Abstract. Significant theoretical and experimental progress towards the validation of direct-drive inertial confinement fusion (ICF) has been recently made at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE). Direct-drive ICF offers the potential for high-gain implosions and is a leading candidate for an inertial fusion energy power plant. LLE’s base-line direct-drive ignition design for NIF is an ``all-DT'' design that has a 1-D gain of 45. Recent calculations show that targets composed of foam shells, wicked with DT, can potentially achieve 1-D gains of 100. LLE experiments are conducted on the OMEGA 60-beam, 30-kJ, UV laser system. Beam smoothing of OMEGA includes 1-THz, 2-D SSD and polarization smoothing. Cryogenic D2 and plastic shell (warm) spherical targets and a comprehensive suite of x-ray, nuclear, charged particle and optical diagnostics are used in these experiments. Future experiments will use cryogenic DT targets.