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News Link • Transportation: Air Travel

Turret flight tests to pave the way for laser weapons on military aircraft


Initial flight tests have now been conducted on a new aircraft laser turret that will help pave the way for HEL systems to be integrated into military aircraft.

Lockheed Martin, working in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the University of Notre Dame, recently conducted eight flight tests in Michigan with a prototype Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control (ABC) turret fitted to the University of Notre Dame's Airborne Aero Optical Laboratory Transonic Aircraft.

The tests were intended to demonstrate the airworthiness of the new beam control turret being developed for DARPA and AFRL that is designed to provide 360-degree coverage for HEL weapons on an aircraft, thereby allowing it to engage enemy aircraft and missiles above, below and behind the aircraft.

The turret features flow control and optical compensation technologies developed by Lockheed that are designed to counteract the effects of turbulence resulting from the turret protruding from the aircraft's fuselage.

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