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8 September 1998 Airborne laser program revolutionizing airpower for the 21st century
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The Airborne Laser is an Air Force Major Defense Acquisition Program to develop and field an airborne high energy laser weapon system to provide speed-of-light lethal defense against hostile theater ballistic missiles in the boost phase. The Air Force believes the Airborne Laser has the potential to revolutionize air warfare. The advanced technologies being introduced by the Airborne Laser presents new and unique challenges for acquisition, operations, and supportability. This paper provides a program overview, and will cover the threat, system description, technology maturity, and acquisition strategy. The Airborne Laser program successfully passed through its Milestone 1 Defense Acquisition Board decision to proceed from Concept Design into Program Definition and Risk Reduction phase, to design, build, integrate, and conduct a lethal airborne demonstration against a boosting missile in 2002. Upon a successful lethal demonstration, the program will then proceed into Engineering and Manufacturing Development and Production. Initial Operation Capability will be in 2006 with three aircraft, and Full Operational Capability will be in 2008 with seven aircraft.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Tyle T. Kanazawa and Albert J. Simon "Airborne laser program revolutionizing airpower for the 21st century", Proc. SPIE 3381, Airborne Laser Advanced Technology, (8 September 1998);


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