Last week, in a ground test at Edwards Air Force Base in California, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and an industry team led by prime contractor Boeing (Seattle, WA) fired the high-energy laser through the entire system for the first time. The beam then exited the aircraft and was captured by the Range Simulator Diagnostic System, which provides simulated targets as well as a "dump" and diagnostics for the laser beam. (In September of this year, the high-energy beam was fired within the aircraft in a ground test, but the beam did not pass through the beam-steering system. Instead, it was dumped into an onboard calorimeter.)From Investor's Business Daily -
Last July, a YAL-1A took off from Edwards Air Force Base in California and actively acquired, tracked and targeted a simulated ballistic missile.Slated for early 2009 is a real in-flight ballistic missile shoot down test which should prove conclusively that Ronald Reagan's Star Wars Defense plan really works with real world applications. Lt. Gen. Henry Obering III said in 2005, "I believe we are building the forces of good to beat the forces of evil. . . . We are taking a major step in giving the American people their first light saber."
It used its infrared sensors and a tracking laser to zero in on a "target board" aboard another aircraft, firing its two solid-state illuminator lasers at the NC-135E "Big Crow" test aircraft to verify the ABL's ability to track an airborne target and compensate for atmospheric turbulence.
On Sept. 7, the COIL was successfully fired for the first time. Missile defense supporter Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., said that test was "proof positive that this weapon system is no longer the stuff of science fiction — it is scientific fact."
A test intercept of an actual in-flight ballistic missile is set for early 2009, unless a Democratic Congress and a President Obama, both hostile to missile defense, shoot down the program first.
ABL aircraft would patrol in pairs at 40,000 feet, flying in orbits over friendly airspace or international waters, scanning the horizon for plumes of rising missiles. The ABL would acquire and track the missile with a tracking laser while computers calculate the distance to and trajectory of the target.
A second laser with weapons-class strength would fire a three- to five-second burst from a turret located in the 747's nose, destroying the missile over its launch site. The ABL's big chemical oxygen iodine laser is designed to reach out over 200 miles, maintaining beam focus and stability, and still have enough power to heat a ballistic missile to destruction.
Barack Obama and the Democrat Congressional leadership has vowed to shoot down the Missile Shield because it's unproven. They just haven't been paying attention. While they've been busy burying their heads in the sand, the good guys have been busy preparing to protect the Asses.
The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.