Friday, October 2, 2009

Fire from the Skies

Stolen from BlackFive (go here and visit, it's a daily read for me).

A very short video of a test of the Airborne Tactical Laser (ATL), built into a highly modified C-130, the high energy chemical laser was fired from the USAF C-130 while it was airborne and many miles away. The test shot was at a truck that was stationary but as you can see from the video the target area on the truck was very small. The test area was in the White Sands test range in New Mexico. Here is a press release of this test, very interesting reading. You can imagine the utility of this capability in an urban environment.

A more advanced version of this laser system, the Airborne Laser or ABL, was being designed to be used in shooting down ballistic missiles during the boost phase of their flight. If you can kill the vehicle before it reaches space you prevent it from deploying its weapons which would be a MIRV type warheads, some of those being decoys. This laser could destroy the missile during that time when it is the most vulnerable and would eliminate all the warheads at once. The ABL is a far more powerful chemical laser and is mounted in a highly modified freighter version of the 747 (a -400). A recent test of this system was performed and the system tracked and simulated a firing of the laser at a modified RC-135 used as a surrogate for a missile. Here is a Boeing video (its 5-minutes long) but it shows the concept of the missile shoot down using the high power laser.

That is one huge apeture on the front of that 747, designated by the USAF as a YAL-1A. Cooks missiles from stand-off distance.(USAF Photo)

Both systems are being developed under contract to the US Air Force by the Boeing Company. Unfortunately, the ABL system is on the budget chopping block as part of PresBO's plans to further pacify the US Military.

Removing our teeth one fang at a time.

BT: Jimmy T sends.


Buck said...

Unfortunately, the ABL system is on the budget chopping block as part of PresBO's plans to further pacify the US Military.

Which p!sses me off beyond BELIEF.

JimmyT said...

Buck, Same with me. We finally are making progress on what could be break through techonology and he puts it in the can. Can you imagine putting something like this in space orbiting over the two large oceans? What a capability. Elections have .... yada, yada, yada!!

BT: Jimmy T sends.

virgil xenophon said...

I told xformed over at Lexs' that the sound needs work--not enough of a sci-fi trad. "death ray" sound. :) GOT to be able so audibly scare 'em to death! LOL.

JimmyT said...

VX, can you imagine them putting a great big directional speaker (or one of them LRADs) on it so when they shoot a booster you get what every sound the crew feels like sending out!! Could be a lot of fun!!

BT: Jimmy T sends.