Saturday, March 28, 2009

Airborne Laser Testing

Speaking of Dale Amon at Samizdata, he also notes that the Airborne Laser has been successfully ground tested:
US announces successful tests of Airborne Laser The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully fired multiple long-duration blasts of the Northrop Grumman high-energy Airborne Laser (ABL) during ground tests, the company announced on 19 February. The tests for the Boeing 747-400F-based ballistic missile defence system lasted up to three seconds each and were concluded on 12 February.
The above quote is from Janes, to which I do not have a subscription. And yes, the proof of this particular pudding is the successful interception of a high-flying warhead from an ICBM, but allow your mind to stretch a bit to some of the other targets on offer. Ground-to-air missiles, while fast, are heading straight at you, which is equivalent to holding still. Another fine testing spot would be alond the Gaza-Israel border where flying targets as small as mortar shells are frequently on offer.
Last, but certainly not least, is the unsettled areas in Iraq and Afghanistan where targets become available running along the ground, carrying Kalashnikovs. Imagine Mohammeds head suddenly assuming the look of a sealed bottle of ketchup placed in a microwave.

Mmmmmm. Mayhem.


Tim D said...

Well shoot, North Korea is offering a live fire opportunity next week. And while it's fairly easy to tell when someone shoots down your launch vehicle with missile, it's somewhat more difficult to tell when its a laser.

Billll said...

Excellent point. At any distance at all, a laser hit would be indistinguishable from an "O-ring failure".