Northrop Grumman to build beam control for laser weapons

Laser weapons experts at Northrop Grumman Corp. are helping the U.S. Air Force with beam control technology to protect current and future fighter aircraft with directed-energy systems.

Nov 1st, 2016

Laser weapons experts at Northrop Grumman Corp. are helping the U.S. Air Force with beam control technology to protect current and future fighter aircraft with directed-energy systems. A contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., calls for the Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems segment in Redondo Beach, Calif., to build the beam-control portion of an airborne laser weapon demonstrator. This part of the Air Force Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) advanced technology demonstration (ATD) program. The laser weapon will be housed in a pod attached to a fighter-sized aircraft, and tested at speeds to supersonic. AFRL expects to begin flight testing the integrated system by 2019. Northrop Grumman is developing the SHiELD beam control system under a segment of the ATD program known as SHiELD Turret Research in Aero Effects, or STRAFE.

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