WILMINGTON, Mass., Oct. 01 -- Textron Systems announces that it has been awarded a $13 milllion contract by the Directed Energy Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, to conduct experiments that assess the effectiveness of laser systems for aircraft self-protection against advanced antiaircraft missile threats. The objective of the Aircraft Directed Energy Laser Applications (ADELA) program is to boost aircraft defense capabilities against current and emerging missile technology through the use of high-intensity lasers.
Under the five year ADELA program, Textron Systems will design, develop and test lasers and laser beam pointing and tracking control systems at its Massachusetts facility. Textron Systems will employ IR sensor technology to develop aircraft-mounted laser beam projection control systems. These systems involve the production of laser-produced plasmas (or laser "sparks") and other high-intensity laser effects.
"Laser sparks are proven to be highly effective in causing break-lock in older generation spin-scan and con-scan missiles," said Daniel W. Trainor, Textron Systems director of lasers and optoelectronics and ADLEA program manager. "Laser spark also offers the countermeasure community an ability to disable and disrupt the operation of advanced (imaging) missiles," continued Trainor.