Laser shock processing is an innovative surface treatment technique to strengthen metals. This process induces a compressive residual stress field which increases fatigue crack initiation life and stress corrosion cracking (SCC) resistance and reduces fatigue crack growth rate. The current status of research and development on laser shock processing of metals, using Q-switched high power lasers is reviewed. Then several key issues are addressed, including the development of the laser peening equipment and the opaque overlay selection and so on. Results to date indicate that laser peening has great potential as a means of improving the mechanical performance of components.