EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Oct. 11, 2007 / / -- A solid-state illuminator laser developed by Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) for the Missile Defense Agency has been fired successfully more than 50 times for periods of up to 90 seconds since in-flight tests began in January.
The kilowatt-class illuminator, built for the agency's Airborne Laser (ABL) program and fired from a heavily modified Boeing 747, is used to track a boosting ballistic missile. The projectile is then destroyed by the ABL's high-energy laser.
Raytheon created the illuminator as a major supplier to Lockheed Martin, which provides the ABL Beam Control/Fire Control segment. Boeing is the prime contractor for the program and integrates the segment into the ABL system.
"We're very pleased with the performance of our laser and proud of its role in the nation's missile defense," said Nick Uros, vice president for the Advanced Concepts and Technology group of Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. "We'll be watching with keen interest as the test program continues."
The illuminator has been fired more than 900 times since installation on the aircraft for ground tests that began in 2006. It has conducted more than 140 million pulsed laser shots, "a remarkable achievement for high-power solid-state lasers," according to Uros.
Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems (SAS) is a leading provider of sensor systems giving military forces the most accurate and timely actionable intelligence available for the network-centric battlefield. With 2006 revenues of $4.3 billion and 12,000 employees, SAS is headquartered in El Segundo, Calif. Additional facilities are in Goleta, Calif.; Forest, Miss.; Dallas, McKinney and Plano, Texas; and several international locations.
Raytheon Company, with 2006 sales of $20.3 billion, is a technology leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 85 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 73,000 people worldwide.
Source: Raytheon Company
CONTACT: Art Bentley, +1-310-647-3266, Arthur_H_Bentley@raytheon.com
Web site: http://www.raytheon.com/