An efficient, all-solid-state laser system continuously tunable over the entire 196-204 nm spectral region was demonstrated. This new deep-UV source is based on a novel alexandrite laser/alexandrite-laser-pumped LiF:F2+** color-center laser (CCL) system. Tunable UV generation was realized using type I sum-frequency generation in CLBO of a frequency tripled alexandrite laser and a tunable oscillation of LiF:F2+** CCL. The maximum conversion efficiency obtained at 198 nm wavelength was 23% for input pump power densities of UV (λ2=245nm) and IR (λ1=1036nm) radiation of 1.5 and 3.3 MW/cm2, respectively, and 25 Hz repetition rate. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.