Skip to comments.Ballistic Missile Defense: Airborne laser passes tests
Posted on 08/05/2005 8:04:22 AM PDT by Righty_McRight
WASHINGTON -- Boeing has completed passive flight testing of its missile-killing Airborne Laser, or ABL, the company announced Wednesday.
Now the program to install a missile-killing laser into a Boeing 747 will move back to Wichita, Kan., after the latest round of tests, which were conducted at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
Boeing Integrated Defense System Wichita originally modified a 747 for the Airborne Laser program that is designed to detect, track and destroy ballistic missiles. The system utilizes a megawatt-class Chemical Oxygen Iodine laser. The recently completed flight tests measured the aircraft's ability to identify and track targets, according to a Boeing spokesman.
The aircraft will fly back to Boeing IDS Wichita "in the immediate future." The company would not release the exact date citing security requirements. Then, over the next six months, workers will install a framework to strengthen the rear of the aircraft to support the weight of the laser and additional wiring, Wichita Business Journal reported Wednesday.
Boeing is the prime contractor for the Airborne Laser. Northrup Grumman and Lockheed Martin are also partners for the program.
The test event, called the Low Power Systems Integration-Passive test, included ground and flight tests of ABL's battle management command-and-control system and the Beam Control/Fire Control segment.
"Completion of this test phase for the Airborne Laser program further demonstrates the air worthiness and the functionality of the airborne mission payload," said Boeing Missile Defense Systems Vice President and General Manager Pat Shanahan. "With each testing increment, the ABL Team is making steady progress in bringing the ABL into the hands of the warfighter to defend against ballistic missile threats."
During the Edwards Air Force Base testing, the ABL team demonstrated the stability and alignment of the two beam control and fire control optical benches with the turret, Boeing said. The test demonstrated the system's pointing and vibration control functions as well as its ability to acquire targets as directed by the battle management segment.
Now, the system will undergo final modification to accommodate installation of the high energy lasers and then it will begin Low Power System Integration-Active ground testing.
During the active testing, two low-power illuminator lasers will be integrated and flight tested to demonstrate acquisition and fine tracking with active illumination. The testing also will verify ABL's atmospheric compensation design and operation, Boeing said.
Layers of missile defense. Man, can we have these comments on actual immigration threads? Hijacked threads are getting really old, really fast.
Cool. Now can they figure out how to find IED's?
Sounds good to me. I wonder where ours will be stationed.
I can think of a couple ground targets for such a thing, but that's probably not politically correct.
"Sounds good to me. I wonder where ours will be stationed."
Maybe Okinawa and the Azores.
I'll bet these guys can tell me how my toaster works!
I surely Pray that , wherever the ABL's are stationed, we've got 'nuff F-15S, F-22S & F-23's to cover them like the bomber formations over WW2 Europe.
Stop at the source. Carpet bomb Iran and Syria.
In a way, this pushes the timetable up for an invasion of Taiwan by China. The Chinese could use their missiles to take out our aircraft carriers. Once this thing is on line and able to protect carriers, the Chinese lose their advantage.