Disclosed is a system for amplification of ultrashort optical pulses. The disclosed system has reduced size and increased robustness, reliability and cost-effectiveness. The disclosed invention is particularly effective in chirped pulse amplification (CPA) systems wherein pulses are stretched, amplified, and re-compressed. According to one aspect of the invention a compact stretcher is used with a bulk compressor, and compatibility between them is achieved by inserting a telescope in the path of the collimated beam. Alternatively, compatibility between the stretcher and the compressor is achieved by creating nonlinearly chirped bragg grating in the fiber stretcher. According to another aspect of the invention, a fiber and a bulk amplifiers are used to amplify the pulse, and compatibility between them is achieved by inserting a doubling crystal in the path of the pulse between the two amplifiers. Another aspect of the disclosed amplification system is the pumping of a laser amplifier with a laser pump of the same material as the laser amplifier, but operating under different conditions.