Lockheed Martin has helped build a laser turret system for high-speed aircraft under a collaborative project between the company, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
The company said Thursday its Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control turret was integrated onto a business jet during 2014 and 2015 flight tests.
The turret is built to provide a 360-degree coverage area for planes designed to fly near the speed of sound.
“This is an example of how Lockheed Martin is using a variety of innovative technologies to transform laser devices into integrated weapon systems,” said Doug Graham, vice president of missile systems and advanced programs at Lockheed’s space systems business.
The company embedded flow control and aerodynamic technologies into the turret with the goal of minimizing the impacts of turbulence on the system’s laser beam.
AFRL and DARPA plan to use flight testing data to identify future requirements for the U.S. military’s tactical airborne laser weapons.