Raman backscattering (RBS) in plasma is an attractive source of intense, ultrashort laser pulses, which has the potential asa basic for a new generation of laser amplifiers.1 Taking advantage of plasma, which can withstand extremely high power densities and can offer high efficiencies over short distances, Raman amplification in plasma could lead to significant reductions in both size and cost of high power laser systems. Chirped laser pulse amplification through RBS could be an effective way to transfer energy from a long pump pulse to a resonant counter propagating short probe pulse. The probe pulse is spectrally broadened in a controlled manner through self-phase modulation. Mechanism of chirped pulse Raman amplification has been studied, and features of supperradiant growth associated with the nonlinear stage are observed in the linear regime. Gain measurements are briefly summarized. The experimental measurements are in qualitative agreement with simulations and theoretical predictions.© (2009) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.