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Raytheon Delivers Track Illuminator Laser

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EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Nov. 19 -- Raytheon Co. has delivered a track illuminator laser (TILL) to Lockheed Martin for use in the US Air Force's airborne laser (ABL) missile defense program.

The ABL TILL is the first diode-pumped Yb:YAG laser to qualify for flight operation aboard a military aircraft, Raytheon said.

Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems' TILL will be integrated with the beam transfer optics for an end-to-end test of the ABL's beam control/fire control system at the Lockheed Martin ABL test facility in Sunnyvale.

TILL will project rapid, powerful pulses of light to a small section of a boosting missile threat. The light will then be reflected back to an extremely sensitive camera. The reflected light data is used to obtain information about the threat's speed and elevation.

Boeing, Lockheed Martin and TRW are developing the airborne boost-phase missile defense system under the direction of the Air Force and Missile Defense Agency. The ABL system will use a megawatt-class chemical laser aboard a modified 747-400F to shoot down missiles in the boost phase. Boeing is the ABL team leader and is responsible for developing the surveillance battle-management system, integrating the weapon system and supplying the modified aircraft. TRW is providing the complete chemical oxygen-iodine laser system. Lockheed Martin is developing the beam control/fire control system, which will acquire the target, then accurately point and fire the laser.
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Nov 2002
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