Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Airborne Laser (ABL) weapons system is designed to shoot down ballistic missiles in their boost stage. Attached to a Boeing 747-400F freighter, it is still in the test period and if proven successful, a fleet of 7 Boeing 747-400 Freighters with ABL system will be operational by 2008. The system is part of the National Missile Defense program.
The system uses a tracking beam to calculate the missile's course and speed. After locking on to the target the weapon class laser will fire a 3 to 5 second burst from a turret located on the nose of the plane, destroying the missile near its launch area.
The laser fired by the weapon is called a Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser , or COIL, invented at Phillips Lab in 1977.
- Boeing Missile Defense: Airborne Laser System
- Federation of American Scientists - Airborne Laser
- CNN.com - U.S. airborne laser advances to 'First Light' - Nov 15, 2004
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details