Airborne Laser Program Wins 100 Percent Award Fee

The Airborne Laser team - Boeing, TRW and Lockheed Martin -- has received an award fee amounting to 100 percent of the available funds for achievements on the U.S. Air Force program from April 1 through Sept. 30.

The ABL program will put a laser weapon on board a modified 747 freighter that would detect and destroy a theater ballistic missile in its boost stage.

The award fee, more than $6.1 million, will be divided among the three Team ABL contractor team members: Boeing, Lockheed Martin and TRW.

The award is based on a scoring system in which program management and technical achievement are evaluated at 50 percent each. The award fee is included in the appropriation for the program in each fiscal year.

In making the award, Darleen Druyun, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition and management, said she believed strongly that the leadership of Team ABL had managed its challenges nearly perfectly to keep the program on track.

"This is a tribute to what can be accomplished when leading industry members pool their resources in developing a revolutionary weapon system," said Paul Shennum, Joint Program Office director and Boeing vice president for the ABL program.

"Every member of this team should be proud of their ability to work together in achieving this award."

Program management strengths cited included the team's continued effective, aggressive management of cost and schedule. Also cited were the team's combined efforts and support that culminated in the Department of Defense decision to give the program "authority to proceed" this summer, as well as the success of the team's innovative external affairs program.

Technical achievements cited included close-out of the preliminary design review, risk reduction testing of optical design components, ground and flight tests of the battle management system and successful completion of the flightweight laser module design that produced 110 percent of the required power this summer. The ABL program is managed by the U.S. Air Force ABL program office, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.