A high voltage transient pumping technique is reported whereby 5‐J 200‐kW CO2 laser pulses have been produced in a 3‐in.‐diam, 8‐ft discharge tube. This device, operating at repetition rates of 35–100 pulses per second, produced 210 W maximum average power. Similar devices of 1‐in. through 6‐in. diameters indicate that, unlike continuous‐wave CO2 lasers, this pulsed system may be extended at least to 6‐in. diam and∕or to total pressures in excess of 60 torr, without severe loss of plasma uniformity. Preliminary scaling experiments indicate that further increases in peak and average power might be achieved.