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Engineers Test-Fire Airborne Laser

Photonics Spectra
Jun 1998
The Airborne Laser Program has reached another milestone. In April, the US Air Force successfully tested the system, which points and focuses a laser at a hostile missile. Engineers conducted the experiments on a beam control system demonstrator that replicates all the elements of a full-scale beam control system onboard the 747. The system transports the high-power laser beam up to and out the nose of the 747 and to the target.
The 61/2-year-long laser project is a collaboration among aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co. of Seattle, TRW Inc. in Detroit and Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, Calif. Lockheed Martin is developing the optics, while TRW is designing the laser. Boeing is responsible for the overall integration of components.
The Airborne Laser will play a role in protecting military assets and civilians from enemy missile attacks.


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