Airborne Laser Test Bed is put to rest in the Boneyard – Laser Focus World

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.

via Airborne Laser Test Bed is put to rest in the Boneyard – Laser Focus World.

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.

3 thoughts on “Airborne Laser Test Bed is put to rest in the Boneyard – Laser Focus World”

  1. “Airborne Laser Test Bed is put to rest in the Boneyard…”, This sound like the concept is dead and buried. I would suggest a little context. Rather then say it’s dead, I would suggest it’s taking a nap. This Nation has taken on the task of “nation-building and culture-building, in 3 countries at the same time”. We’re trying to rebuild Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, not to where they were, the 10th Century but somewhere near the 21st Century. We have been carrying a large debt for the last 20 years and the bill came due. We just can not afford the corruption, unless corruption becomes *very harmful to their health.*

  2. I wonder if we asked Japan and South Korea if they would foot the operational cost?

    1. Eh. Given the success of the Aegis BMD program, and the technical problems the ABL was continually having (they never achieved the power throughput they needed), it was time to put it to rest.

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