U.S. anti-missile laser passes low-power tests




 
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August 31st, 2007  
phoenix80
 
 

Topic: U.S. anti-missile laser passes low-power tests


U.S. anti-missile laser passes low-power tests

By Jim Wolf

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Flight tests of a laser-equipped Boeing Co. 747 showed its onboard systems can complete all steps needed to intercept a ballistic missile, the U.S. Defense Department said on Friday.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry Obering, who heads the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency, hailed the low-power tests that ended August 23, as a "critically important milestone" for the $3.8 billion Airborne Laser program, or ABL.

The Pentagon is seeking full funding of the program. The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee voted in July to cut $50 million from President George W. Bush's $549 million request for fiscal 2008 that begins October 1.

The ABL would be the first combat aircraft to rely entirely on a laser as a weapon. As part of an emerging U.S. ballistic missile shield, it would target a missile's "boost phase," the first few minutes of flight when it is most vulnerable.

The United States is building the shield to guard against missiles that could be fired by countries like North Korea and Iran, carrying nuclear, chemical or biological warheads.

Boeing won the ABL prime contract in 1996. Northrop Grumman Corp. is building the high-power laser. Lockheed Martin Corp. provides the aircraft's beam control and fire control systems.

The U.S. military hopes to acquire eight more modified 747-400 jumbo jets for the ABL mission. The first of these would be a "bridge" to seven production models, averaging $1.5 billion apiece.

During the low-power tests, the prototype ABL fired its onboard lasers more than 200 times, the Missile Defense Agency said. "Data analysis has verified ABL's performance is adequate to enter the program's next phase," it said.

Efforts will now turn to installing Northrop's high-energy, megawatt-class chemical oxygen-iodine laser. A crucial intercept test against a mock enemy ballistic missile is scheduled for mid-2009.

http://www.reuters.com/article/domes...27163220070831
September 1st, 2007  
A Can of Man
 
 
It will be a reverse version of B-52s flying around the clock I think. Maybe a couple of these flying around the clock around Iran will make any ballistic missile launch futile.
September 1st, 2007  
phoenix80
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_13th_redneck
It will be a reverse version of B-52s flying around the clock I think. Maybe a couple of these flying around the clock around Iran will make any ballistic missile launch futile.
It'll be a B-747... did u read the story?
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September 2nd, 2007  
A Can of Man
 
 
I said it would be a reverse version of "B-52s flying around the clock."
So the reverse of that would be laser armed Boeing 747s.
Yes I read the story and I've known about the USAF trying to put lasers on board 747s to shoot down ballistic missiles for a few years now.
 


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