The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announced this week that the Airborne Laser Test Bed — a megawatt-class 1.3 µm chemical oxygen-iodine laser (COIL) mounted in a modified Boeing 747 and intended to shoot down ballistic missiles in their boost phase — has been put into “long-term storage” at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis Monthan Air Force Base. This location, also known as the “Boneyard,” is where excess and unused military aircraft are taken for preservation.
I was going to link some good posts from our friend Cuffy’s blog, only to find out he’s taken it down. He had some good thoughts on missile defense and the success stories. 🙁
I did find this article which mentions the ABL’s successful destruction of a Terrier Black Brant rocket and a “liquid-fueled foreign missile target.”
At one time, there was development of a space-based laser using some of the same components, but budget realities ended that one, too.