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AirBorne Laser


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La Missile Defense Agency ha annunciato il primo utilizzo in volo per il laser aeroportato, ABL, un'arma antibalistica realizzata da Boeing e Northrop Grumman installando un laser COIL (Chemical Oxigen Iodice Laser) ad alta energia (circa 1 MW) a bordo di un 747-400F modificato.

 

Le prestazioni del sistema testato si sono dimostrate superiori a quanto prefetto dai test già condotti a terra nel corso del 2005, e, se tutto filerà liscio nei prossimi mesi, l'anno prossimo si procederà al primo test contro un missile balistico.

 

 

Fonte: RID Ottobre, pagina 20.

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EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Dec. 01, 2008 -- The Boeing Company, industry teammates and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency last week fired a high-energy laser through the Airborne Laser's (ABL) beam control/fire control system, completing the first ground test of the entire weapon system integrated aboard the aircraft.

 

During the test at Edwards Air Force Base, the laser beam traveled through the beam control/fire control system before exiting the aircraft through the nose-mounted turret. The beam control/fire control system steered and focused the beam onto a simulated ballistic-missile target.

 

"This test is significant because it demonstrated that the Airborne Laser missile defense program has successfully integrated the entire weapon system aboard the ABL aircraft," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems. "With the achievement of the first firing of the laser aboard the aircraft in September, the team has now completed the two major milestones it hoped to accomplish in 2008, keeping ABL on track to conduct the missile shootdown demonstration planned for next year."

 

Michael Rinn, Boeing vice president and ABL program director, said the next step for the program is a series of longer-duration laser firings through the beam control/fire control system.

 

"Once we complete those tests, we will begin demonstrating the entire weapon system in flight," Rinn said. "The team is meeting its commitment to deliver this transformational directed-energy weapon system in the near term."

 

The program has logged many accomplishments over the past several years. In 2005, the high-energy laser demonstrated lethal levels of duration and power in the System Integration Laboratory at Edwards. In 2007, ABL completed numerous flight tests that demonstrated its ability to track an airborne target, measure and compensate for atmospheric conditions, and deliver a surrogate high-energy laser's simulated lethal beam on the target. In September 2008, the team achieved "first light" by firing the high-energy laser into a calorimeter aboard the aircraft.

 

Boeing is the prime contractor for ABL, which will provide speed-of-light capability to destroy all classes of ballistic missiles in their boost phase of flight.

 

The ABL aircraft is a modified Boeing 747-400F whose back half holds the high-energy laser, designed and built by Northrop Grumman. The front section of the aircraft contains the beam control/fire control system, developed by Lockheed Martin, and the battle management system, provided by Boeing.

 

 

 

http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2008/q4/081201a_nr.html

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Si se ne è parlato in vari topic, inoltre ci sono anche dei video sull'utilizzo operativo! ;)

 

Future Weapons Airborne Laser

 

YAL-1A Airborne Laser

 

USAF 747 Airborne Laser (ABL) turret ball testing

 

USAF Airborne Laser (ABL) and target aircraft

 

Airborne Laser Promo

 

 

DOMANDA AI MOD: non potete inserire fra le faccine anche una col cappello (o le orecchie) da somaro, come nei cartoons? Credo proprio di meritarmela...

 

:asd: :asd: :asd:

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Ma quanta gittata ha l'ABL?

 

 

Fra i 300 e i 600 chilometri, a seconda dello scenario; per alcuni analisti è una gittata insufficiente.

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Ma quanta gittata ha l'ABL?

 

Tralasciando il fatto che si tratta di un utilizzo puramente sperimentale (Di operativo non esiste ancora nulla), direi che si tratta di dati strettamente "Classificati", al limite si potrebbero sapere alcuni particolari approssimativi, ma non di più! I dati segnalati da intru possono essere indicativi ma non assoluti! :)

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Trattandosi di un'arma completamente nuova e altrettanto sperimentale, mi pare evidente che non si possa parlare di dati se non in maniera indicativa. Su AW&ST, tempo fa, lessi un interessante opinione di non-ricordo-chi (dovrei ripescare l'articolo, ma la testata è seria), che forniva questi dati (180-360 miglia, ho calcolato a mente ma non penso di essere andato troppo lontano dalla cifra esatta, in chilometri), basati su dei calcoli di potenza installata e altro, e diceva che erano cifre insufficienti per un reale utilizzo ABM dell'arma. Giustamente, come osservi tu, non ci vengono a raccontare tutto, e non sarebbe nemmeno la prima volta che AW&ST prende una cantonata, come qualsiasi altra rivista del settore, del resto. Fino a prova contraria, tuttavia, tengo per buoni quei dati. Staremo a vedere.

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Trattandosi di un'arma completamente nuova e altrettanto sperimentale, mi pare evidente che non si possa parlare di dati se non in maniera indicativa. Su AW&ST, tempo fa, lessi un interessante opinione di non-ricordo-chi (dovrei ripescare l'articolo, ma la testata è seria), che forniva questi dati (180-360 miglia, ho calcolato a mente ma non penso di essere andato troppo lontano dalla cifra esatta, in chilometri), basati su dei calcoli di potenza installata e altro, e diceva che erano cifre insufficienti per un reale utilizzo ABM dell'arma. Giustamente, come osservi tu, non ci vengono a raccontare tutto, e non sarebbe nemmeno la prima volta che AW&ST prende una cantonata, come qualsiasi altra rivista del settore, del resto. Fino a prova contraria, tuttavia, tengo per buoni quei dati. Staremo a vedere.

 

Il tuo ragionamento non fa una piega, e considerando che si tratta appunto di sistemi d'arma sperimentali e senza prove o impieghi operativi, i dati vanno presi con le dovute cautele, nonostante ciò quelli da te postati sono oltremodo quelli indicati in altri siti, quindi più o meno dovrebbero rispecchiare grossomodo i valori reali, di conseguenza visto che per adesso non abbiamo altro materiale da analizzare rimandiamo ai posteri l'ardua sentenza! ;)

Edited by Blue Sky
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ma, sicuri che sia sperimentale ne hanno ordinati già NOVE di 747ABL e in fondo il progetto M.I.R.A.C.L.E per un laser ASAT è degli anni '80 forse intruder se lo ricorda

 

Appunto fino a quando non entrerà in servizio operativo rimarrà ancora "Sperimentale" ;)

 

Ho trovato un'altro link con molte informazioni in merito!

 

abl1.jpg

 

Airborne Laser

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ABL Laser Gets MDA Nod Thus Far

 

Jun 3, 2009

 

 

 

By Amy Butler aviationweek.com

 

 

ABL-NorthropGrumman.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

The director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) says he is pleased with the performance of the Airborne Laser’s (ABL) mission systems to date, but the 747-400F platform has recently had problems with flight worthiness.

 

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly says ABL’s laser has been fired and displayed atmospheric compensation beyond 100 kilometers (60 miles) 12 times, most recently in a test flight last weekend. The laser’s ability to compensate for particles in the atmosphere that can dissipate the laser energy is a key criterion to the success of the system.

 

Also, the system is able to assess what atmospheric compensation is needed within 1/100th of a second, O’Reilly says, a relevant result for operational use of a future ABL-type system. ABL’s mission is to lase the motor of boosting ballistic missiles in the boost phase of flight and destroy them.

 

O’Reilly says he is approaching ABL with a “three strikes” philosophy. First, the system will be tested against a Scud-type target as early as September (possibly slipping into October). If that is unsuccessful, he says he’ll try a shootdown again at year’s end. The final opportunity will be next spring. If each attempt results in failures, O’Reilly says he will have to brief Defense Secretary Robert Gates on whether and, if needed, how to proceed with the multibillion dollar effort.

 

Prior to the shootdown test this fall, engineers will be swapping out ABL’s optical system, adding new “second generation” optics that are more tolerant to contamination, O’Reilly says.

 

One challenge for the program is that its 747-400F platform “gets cranky,” he adds. Problems have emerged with the hydraulics and brakes of the aircraft, largely because it has been on the ground while the laser modules were being installed on the aircraft.

 

“After initial startup problems, the aircraft has returned to flight and is flying regularly,” according to Michael Rinn, vice president for Boeing’s ABL program. “We flew several times in the last week, which indicates the startup problems are rapidly going away,”

 

In the fiscal 2010 DOD budget request, Gates proposes keeping ABL as a research project only, eliminating any chance the system as designed will be fielded. O’Reilly concurs with that approach, adding that continuing tests on the chemical-laser system are useful for potential application to future systems.

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The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) wants to explore putting Airborne Laser (ABL) technology on a smaller aircraft than its current jumbo jet platform, MDA's director said June 11.

 

The high-powered laser, designed to destroy an attacking missile shortly after launch during the boost phase, currently flies on a modified Boeing 747-400 freighter. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has vetoed the idea of acquiring another 747, saying the existing equipment should first be used as a research and development platform to prove the capabilities of the large laser technology.

 

"One thing I personally want to do and I know the engineering team has convinced themselves [of], is it can go on a smaller aircraft. So we're looking at that," Army Lt. Gen. Patrick O'Reilly told a Capitol Hill breakfast seminar hosted by the National Defense University Foundation.

 

The MDA director did not disclose details. A key question will be adapting the chemical oxygen iodine laser (COIL) to another platform, particularly one smaller than the 747. The six COIL modules at the heart of the current ABL's megawatt-class laser each are roughly the size of a Mini Cooper car, and altogether the size of a large sport utility vehicle.

 

O'Reilly cited the successful test of ABL's tracking system June 6 as evidence of the technology's viability. For the first time while airborne, ABL tracked a boosting missile with lasers that compensated for atmospheric conditions (Aerospace DAILY, June 3).

 

A test of ABL's ability to strike a missile in flight is not expected before late fall or winter. "I'm not going to allow it to fly until it's ready," O'Reilly said.

 

O'Reilly took responsibility for two other MDA programs that Gates curtailed in the fiscal 2010 budget request. He said he recommended terminating both the Multiple Kill Vehicle (MKV) and the Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI) programs.

 

MKV, aimed at increasing the chances of knocking down an attacking missile and thwarting its countermeasures, was a long-range research and development program with a capability targeted for around 2020, O'Reilly said. But MDA's focus should be on preventing the deployment of countermeasures rather than reacting to them after they were deployed, he added.

 

KEI, another boost-phase weapon that would collide with and destroy missiles close to launch, would probably not pass muster with recently enacted defense acquisition reform legislation, O'Reilly said, because not enough advance analysis was done for the program's life cycle. "There were significant integration problems," he added, because of KEI's size. For example, Aegis ships would have to reduce their firepower by 75 percent to accommodate the large interceptor. "And if you didn't put it on a ship, you're very restricted to the use of where you can put it on land," he said. That made KEI "extremely unattractive" for mass defensive launchings, O'Reilly said.

 

www.aviationweek.com

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