Airborne Laser Engages Missile
Boeing’s YAL-1 Airborne laser takes down missile…
Check out this amazing video clip of Boeing’s YAL-1 Airborne Laser engaging a missile MARTI missile surrogate.
Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser
For those that don’t know, the YAL-1 Airborne laser is a “high-energy chemical oxygen iodine laser (COIL) carried aboard a modified Boeing 747-400F freighter is capable of autonomous operation at altitudes above the clouds. The Airborne Laser (ABL) will locate and track missiles in the boost phase of their flight, then accurately point and fire the high-energy laser, destroying enemy missiles near their launch areas.”
This test, conducted on 10th January, 2009 represents the first air-to-air engagement of the YAL-1 laser.
If you’re wondering why the missile isn’t blown to pieces, that’s because the Airborne laser does not burn or disintegrate the projectile, but rather heats the missile skin weakening it and causing it fail in flight.
Landing a direct hit on a target moving at the speed of missile has been the major draw back in the development of the YAL-1. But thanks to the infrared sensors that cater to the initial detection; and the low power tracking lasers that calculate missile course, speed, aimpoint, and air turbulence, Boeing have managed to overcome this problem with effective results.
It would seem that similar technology is being used in Boeing’s other military-grade laser weapon, the Humvee-mounted Laser Avenger. At around the same time last year, the Laser Avenger was reported to have struck down a spy drone in mid-flight.
Boeing Laser Avenger
Unfortunately, no vids on that particular test, but if the Airborne laser is anything to judge it by, the new laser weaponry technology is about revolutionize warfare.
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