A mode-locked Raman fiber laser pumped by 1.3 mu m semiconductor disk laser is demonstrated. Direct Watt-level core-pumping of the single-mode fiber Raman lasers and amplifiers with low-noise disk lasers is demonstrated to represent a highly practical solution as compared with conventional scheme using pumping by Raman wavelength convertors. Raman laser employing passive mode-locking by nonlinear polarization evolution in normal dispersion regime produces stable pedestal-free 1.97 ps pulses at 1.38 mu m. Using semiconductor disk lasers capable of producing high power with diffraction-limited beam allows Raman gain to be obtained at virtually any wavelength of interest owing to spectral versatility of semiconductor gain materials and wafer-fusing technology. (C) 2010 Optical Society of America