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Airborne Laser Passes First Test

Photonics Spectra
Apr 1998
Aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co. of Seattle has concluded the first series of wind tunnel tests on components crucial to the Airborne Laser. The weapon system is designed to destroy theater ballistic missiles in the initial phase of flight.

During the tests, engineers identified a suitable design of the turret -- one that minimized turbulence that could affect the performance of the laser beam. The tests also helped engineers identify other changes to allow for the best beam quality with little jitter. The Airborne Laser team also includes TRW Inc. in Detroit, which is responsible for producing the weapon system's powerful laser, and Lockheed Martin, which is responsible for the optics and control of the laser beam.

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