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Airborne laser program wins 100-percent award fee

Released: 10 Dec 1998


KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFPN) -- The Air Force has given the airborne laser team -- Boeing, TRW and Lockheed Martin -- a $6.1 million award fee amounting to 100 percent of the available funds for achievements on the Air Force program.

The program, managed here by the Airborne Laser System Program Office, will put a laser weapon on a modified Boeing 747 freighter jet that will detect and destroy a theater ballistic missile in its boost stage.

The award fee, for April through September, will be divided among the three contractor teams.

The award is based on a scoring system in which program management and technical achievement are evaluated at 50 percent each. An award fee is included in the appropriation for the program in each fiscal year.

In making the award, Darleen Druyun, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition and management, said she believed strongly that the leadership of the ABL team had managed its challenges nearly perfectly to keep the program on track.

"This is a tribute to what can be accomplished when leading industry members pool their resources in developing a revolutionary weapon system," said Paul Shennum, joint program office director and Boeing vice president for the ABL program.

Program management strengths cited include the team's continued effective, aggressive management of cost and schedule. Also cited was the team's combined efforts and support that culminated in the Department of Defense decision to give the program "authority to proceed" this summer, as well as the success of the team's innovative external affairs program.

Technical achievements cited include close-out of the preliminary design review, risk-reduction testing of optical design components, ground and flight tests of the battle management system and successful completion of the flightweight laser module design that produced 110 percent of the required power this summer.

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* Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.