ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Oct. 14, 2008 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has been awarded a U.S. Air Force contract valued at up to $30 million to continue testing the Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL).
The Extended User Evaluation (EUE) contract from the Air Force's Air Armament Center calls for Boeing to operate and maintain the ATL system, enabling the Air Force and other potential users to assess ATL's capabilities.
ATL, a C-130H aircraft equipped with a high-energy chemical laser and a beam control system, will undergo a series of ground and flight tests during the EUE. The new contract, awarded Sept. 30, is a follow-on to the Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) contract under which Boeing developed and integrated the ATL system.
"The Extended User Evaluation will expand the envelope of the Advanced Tactical Laser and further demonstrate how this ultra-precision engagement capability can significantly reduce collateral damage," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems. "ATL has the potential to perform a wide range of important missions for the warfighter."
"The Extended User Evaluation will give the warfighter the opportunity to conduct hands-on operation of ATL and determine how this transformational laser-gunship technology can be integrated into the battlefield," said Gary Fitzmire, vice president and program director of Boeing Directed Energy Systems.
ATL will destroy, damage or disable targets with little to no collateral damage, supporting missions on the battlefield and in urban operations.
Boeing's ATL industry team includes L-3 Communications/Brashear, which made the laser turret, and HYTEC Inc., which made various structural elements of the weapon system.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems
is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32.1 billion business with 71,000 employees worldwide.