One Airborne Laser, gift-wrapped

I stumbled on this Rex Features image showing the USA’s Boeing 747-400-based YAL-1A Airborne Laser testbed (ALTB) aircraft, which is now preserved at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group site at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona.

yal-1 560.jpgIt’s just over six months since the unique aircraft arrived at “The boneyard”, following a final pass flown over California’s Edwards AFB on 14 February (US Air Force image below).

Back when the YAL-1A was placed into long-term storage, the US Missile Defense Agency said: “The ALTB demonstrated the viability of a directed energy weapon for missile defense by tracking and destroying a boosting, representative foreign ballistic missile in flight.” But boy, it was a pricey experiment.

YAL-1 final 560.jpg

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