360-degree turret prototype tested for tactical aircraftsNews
October 19, 2015
SUNNYVALE, Calif. Lockheed Martin has developed the Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control (ABC) turret, a prototype laser turret for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) that can engage targets in a 360-degree field of regard for laser weapon systems on an aircraft flying near the speed of sound.
The demonstration was conducted in 2014 and 2015 using a business jet. The ABC turret’s performance was consistent throughout nearly 60 flight tests, according to officials. Engineers designed the turret with aerodynamic and flow-control technology to minimize the turbulence impact on a laser beam.
“This advanced turret design will enable tactical aircraft to have the same laser weapon system advantages as ground vehicles and ships,” says Doug Graham, vice president of missile systems and advanced programs, Strategic and Missile Defense Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems.
The results of the flight tests will help DARPA and AFRL determine requirements for laser weapon systems on high-speed aircrafts.
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