LOS ANGELES, CA – February 12, 2010 – The Airborne Laser Test Bed (ALTB) transitioned from science fiction to directed energy fact February 11th when it put a lethal amount of 'light on target' to destroy a boosting ballistic missile with help from a megawatt-class laser developed by Northrop Grumman Corporation. Qual-Pro Corporation provided key signal conditioning electronics to Northrop in support of this successful test. Qual-Pro was part of an exclusive group of aerospace-focused suppliers selected to build subassemblies for this high profile, national security program. The assemblies were built to Northrop Grumman’s exacting Class III electronics manufacturing requirements in Qual-Pro’s 55,000 square foot state of the art manufacturing facility in Gardena, California.
While ballistic missiles like the one ALTB destroyed move at speeds of about 4,000 miles per hour, they are no match for a super-heated, high-energy laser beam racing towards it at 670 million mph. The basketball-sized beam was focused on the foreign military asset, as the missile is called officially, for only a few seconds before a stress fracture developed, causing the target to catastrophically split into multiple pieces.