Posts Tagged ‘747’

Airborne Laser shoots and scores!

Last night – the US Air Force’s much maligned Airborne Laser project hit the jackpot with a successful in-flight engagement and destruction of a Scud-like ballistic missile shortly after it was launched.

In the video below, a timecode that could be used to evaluate how long the laser was on target before its destruction – is noticeably missing.

The Airborne Laser is a chemically charged laser mounted in a modified Boeing 747-400 Freighter. This was originally planned to go into Operational use, but due to cost and schedule overruns, (Defense) Secretary Gates decided last year to downgrade the project to a R&D project. Whether this successful test will change the Pentagon’s plans for this system – has yet to be seen.

It is unknown how long this test has been planned, but what is interesting is that the results of this test were publicized, while another successful test earlier this month was not (last sentence in press release). It is possible that publicizing this test was meant to show an uncooperative Middle East state that continued nuclear enrichment is not a good idea.

 

Breaking – Airbus will not bid on new Air Force One contract

According to an Exclusive post over on Ares (AvWeek milblog) – an Airbus spokesman in Washington has said they do not plan on bidding on the replacement for the current Boeing 747-200 versions of Air Force One (VC-25).

Many had expected Airbus to propose their A380 superjumbo for the size and range requirements outlined in the Air Force RFI.