Raytheon Delivers Key Component for Missile Defense: First ABL Track Illuminator Laser provided to Lockheed Martin

Press Release From: Raytheon Company
Posted: Monday, November 18, 2002

Raytheon Company has delivered the first Track Illuminator Laser (TILL) to Lockheed Martin for use in the U.S. Air Force's Airborne Laser (ABL) missile defense program.

The ABL TILL is the first diode-pumped Yb:YAG laser that has qualified for flight operation aboard a military aircraft.

Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems' TILL will be integrated with the beam transfer optics for an end-to-end test of the ABL's Beam Control/Fire Control system at the Lockheed Martin ABL test facility in Sunnyvale, CA.

TILL is an integral part of the Beam Control/Fire Control system and will project rapid, powerful pulses of light to a small section of a boosting missile threat. The light will then be reflected back to an extremely sensitive camera. The reflected light data is used to obtain information about the threat's speed and elevation.

This month, Raytheon began technology development work on a variant of the TILL system to extend performance and accuracy. The company also began production of spare components.

In March 2001, Raytheon's TILL was the first of four critical ABL solid- state lasers to conduct a successful 'first light' test at its High Energy Laser Center in El Segundo, Calif.

Team ABL - Boeing, Lockheed Martin and TRW -- is developing the revolutionary airborne boost-phase missile defense system under the direction of the U.S. Air Force and Missile Defense Agency. The ABL system will use a megawatt-class chemical laser aboard a modified 747-400F to shoot down missiles in the boost phase. Boeing is the ABL team leader and is responsible for developing the surveillance battle-management system, integrating the weapon system and supplying the modified aircraft. TRW is providing the complete chemical oxygen-iodine laser system. Lockheed Martin is developing the beam control/fire control system, which will acquire the target, then accurately point and fire the laser.

Raytheon is a leader in a broad range of missile defense technologies and initiatives, including the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Low, Airborne Laser's Track Illuminator Laser, the Ground-Based Radar-Prototype, X-Band Radar, Upgraded Early Warning Radar and the PAVE PAWS Early Warning Radar for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense Segment. The company also supports Sea-based Midcourse and Terminal Defense, provides the Ground-Based Radar element for the Theater High-altitude Area Defense program, and its Patriot systems continue to be mainstays for theater ballistic missile defense. Raytheon is the prime contractor and integrator for the PAC-3 system and continues to provide the Patriot Air and Missile Defense System for many U.S. and Allied forces.

Space and Airborne Systems business is a $3 billion world leader in the design, development, and manufacture of advanced electronic systems for precision strike; missile defense; and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance applications. Key capabilities include electro-optical/infrared sensors, airborne radars, space-qualified systems, solid state and high energy lasers, precision guidance systems, and electronic warfare systems. Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., Space and Airborne Systems has 9,300 employees and additional facilities in Goleta, Calif.; Forest, Miss.; and Dallas, McKinney and Plano, Texas.

With headquarters in Lexington, Mass., Raytheon Company is a global technology leader in defense, government and commercial electronics, and business and special mission aircraft.

Note to Editors: For ABL program information, visit: and for more information about Raytheon Company's layered missile defense solutions,


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