Photos: Airborne laser enlists for missile defense

Photos: Airborne laser enlists for missile defense

Summary: The Pentagon is modifying a 747 to carry a megawatt-class laser intended to shoot down enemy missiles.

TOPICS: Tech Industry

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  • Turret on 747

    The turret ball assembly will be mounted on the nose of the aircraft. It will be the exit site for the high-energy laser intended to destroy missiles in flight and the return window for low-power lasers that will track the target and assess atmospheric conditions.

  • ABL in action

    This is how the Pentagon envisions the ABL in action. The goal is to interdict missiles shortly after launch when they are in the vulnerable boost phase--and before they get close to U.S. soil.

  • 747 at takeoff

    The 747 in its current, nonweaponized state, at takeoff. A flight test with the low-power, solid-state lasers is set for later this year. The high-power chemical laser is still going through ground testing.

Topic: Tech Industry

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