The Airborne Laser (ABL) under development by the United States Air Force is described. The ABL consists of a multi-megawatt Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser and multimeter beam director installed on a widebody aircraft. The ABL Demonstrator will demonstrate the ability to integrate scalable/traceable technologies into a useable weapon system shortly after the turn of the century. The legacy of the ABL from the earlier Airborne Laser Laboratory (ALL) is discussed as well as the advances in technology which have occurred since which enable the ABL to achieve much larger effective ranges than were achieved using the ALL. The integration of the ABL into the theater battle is also discussed.