On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Defense announced it has awarded a $9.5 million contract to Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) to perform phase 3 flight tests under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Aero-Adaptive/Aero-Optic Beam Control Program.

The ABC program is part of a cutting-edge DARPA project working toward the development of an arsenal of high-energy lasers to be fired at targets from tactical aircraft. The specific aspect of this program covered by ABC aims to develop a "flow control system" for the weapons, synchronized to adaptive optics.

Lockheed's task will be to conduct "a full scale flight test of an active flow control turret mounted on a business class sized jet," to ensure the weapon performs as it was predicted to perform from previously conducted phase 2 tests in wind tunnels. Work on the project is expected to be complete by Sept. 15, 2015.

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