ABL Laser Work Comes Together:

Industry partners for the Airborne Laser, the USAF project now overseen by the Missile Defense Agency, are steps closer to laser installation after completing ground tests and upgrades. According to company press releases, Lockheed Martin has completed ground tests of the beam control/fire control system on the YAL-1A aircraft, while Northrop Grumman has finished ground tests of the beacon illuminator laser and upgraded the chemical oxygen iodine laser. Lockheed’s beam control/fire control system will employ two illuminator lasers: a Raytheon tracking illuminator, which determines range to target and direction to fire, and Northrop’s beacon illuminator, which measures atmospheric distortion to compensate the beam. In flight testing begins later this year.