The United States Missile Defense Agency has pulled the
wraps off its ABL (Airborne Laser) YAL-1A aircraft. The ABL YAL-1A, which is a
modified Boeing 747-400F, packs a high-energy laser developed by Lockheed
Martin, a tracking illuminator designed by Raytheon and a Northrop Grumman
Recent testing conducted on the ground demonstrated
the capabilities of some of the low-power systems used in the ABL aircraft:
Verifying the alignment of the optical components that guide the lasers to the designated target
Demonstrating the end-to-end capability to control and fire the illuminator lasers
Demonstrating the ability of the beam control/fire control system and the Boeing-developed battle management system to track and target a ballistic missile, using a simulated target
Proving the ability to control a low-power surrogate for the high-energy laser and fire it at a simulated target
"The results of the testing underscore the soundness of
our technical approach. We functionally demonstrated ABL's ability to locate
and track a target, illuminate the target to compensate for atmospheric
disturbances and then precisely focus a surrogate laser beam on the target to
destroy it," said Art Napolitano, ABL program director.
Next up for the ABL program is to perform in-flight testing
of the beam control/fire control system. The high-energy laser used to shoot
down incoming missiles will be installed into the aircraft next year while a missile
shoot-down test is scheduled for 2008.
quote: then put the guilty on emerging countries, and finally take possession of them?