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Modified 747 completes key test for U.S. Missile Defence

(News.com.au) A MODIFIED Boeing 747 designed to be part of an emerging US antimissile shield has successfully completed an important flight test, the Pentagon’s Missile Defence Agency and Boeing said today. To simulate an intercept, the prototype Airborne Laser actively tracked an airborne target, compensated for atmospheric turbulence and fired a “surrogate” for a missile-zapping high-energy laser, they said. “We have now demonstrated most of the steps needed for the Airborne Laser to engage a threat missile and deliver precise and lethal effects against it,” said Pat Shanahan, a vice president at Boeing, the prime contractor.  Air Force Lieutenant Colonel John Daniels, the Pentagon’s program manager, said the test on Saturday marked an historic day for “directed-energy” weapons firing at the speed of light, or 186,000 miles per second.  “This will fundamentally change the way we engage and destroy fleeting targets,” he said.  The airborne laser is to be the first warplane relying entirely on a directed energy device as a weapon. It is designed to destroy an enemy ballistic missile shortly after it is launched, in the “boost phase” of its flight path. The program will have cost about $US5 billion ($5.75 billion) from its inception in the early 1990s through a scheduled test intercept test of a mock enemy missile in August 2009, Lt-Col Daniels said.  The modified Boeing 747-400F took off from Edwards Air Force Base, California. It used its infrared sensors and a tracking laser to zero in on a “target board” on an Air Force aircraft, Boeing said.  The aircraft fired the tracking laser at the target aircraft, dubbed Big Crow, for the first time on March 15. The test on Friday demonstrated an ability to go from passive tracking of a simulated missile engine “plume” to active tracking, Boeing said.  In addition, the Lockheed Martin Corp. beam control and fire control system was used to offset atmospheric turbulence in conjunction with the active tracking and firing of the device standing in for the chemical oxygen-iodine laser, the company said.  Engineers will start installing the actual high-energy laser, built by Northrop Grumman Corp, in coming months to prepare for the intercept test.

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July 17, 2007 - Posted by | Blogroll, news, personal, politics, random, religion, Terrorism, Terrorism In The U.S., Terrorism News, Uncategorized, War-On-Terror

1 Comment »

  1. […] Get the entire post from here. […]

    Pingback by Airline Fuel » Modified 747 completes key test for U.S. Missile Defence Christian … | March 2, 2008 | Reply


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