June 23, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., - The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] announced today that it is combining its Airborne Laser Test Bed (ALTB) and Directed Energy organizations into a single Directed Energy Systems team based in Albuquerque. The consolidation is designed to further the development and execution of breakthrough directed-energy systems for Boeing's military customers.
"Consolidating the proven laser-application expertise of the Airborne Laser team with the exciting new innovations pursued by our Directed Energy organization will focus our efforts on developing and applying laser technologies to deliver breakthrough products and systems for our customers today and tomorrow," said Greg Hyslop, vice president and general manager of Boeing Strategic Missile & Defense Systems. "Our new Directed Energy Systems team will ensure Boeing leadership and growth in this critical market area."
Mike Rinn, currently vice president and program director for ALTB, will lead the new organization and be based at the Directed Energy Systems team's headquarters in Albuquerque, where many of Boeing's directed-energy customers are located. Rich Flanders will replace Rinn as ALTB program director.
"Mike's leadership will help us take advantage of the unique innovations we've demonstrated on the Airborne Laser and apply them to our other directed-energy programs and technologies," Hyslop said. "He also will lead our efforts in pursuing new opportunities to expand the Airborne Laser's role in demonstrating new laser technologies."
The ALTB team made history in February when it engaged and destroyed a ballistic missile in its boost phase, successfully demonstrating the speed, precision and breakthrough potential of directed-energy weapons. The test marked the first time a laser system has engaged and destroyed an in-flight ballistic missile and the first time that any system has accomplished it in the missile's boost phase of flight. ALTB has the highest-energy laser ever fired from an aircraft and is the most powerful mobile laser device in the world.
The Directed Energy Systems unit is developing advanced laser concepts and systems to address multiple defense requirements. Development efforts include the High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator for the U.S. Army; the U.S. Navy Free Electron Laser weapon system, which recently completed its preliminary design review; and Laser Avenger, a company-funded program that integrates a laser on a mobile truck platform. Laser Avenger has proven its ability to destroy improvised explosive devices, unexploded ordnance and unmanned aerial vehicles.
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