A conceptual design for a kJ-class diode-pumped solid-state laser (DPSSL) system based on cryogenic gas-cooled multislab ceramic Yb:YAG amplifier technology has been developed at the STFC as a building block towards a MJ-class source for inertial fusion energy (IFE) projects such as HiPER. In this paper, we present an overview of an amplifier design optimised for efficient generation of 1 kJ nanosecond pulses at 10 Hz repetition rate. In order to confirm the viability of this technology, a prototype version of this amplifier scaled to deliver 10 J at 10 Hz, DiPOLE, is under development at the Central Laser Facility. A progress update on the status of this system is also presented.© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.