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Aircraft Prepared for Antimissile Laser

Photonics Spectra
Mar 2000
Over the next 18 months, a 747-400 freighter aircraft in Wichita, Kan., will be modified to destroy ballistic missiles in their boost phase at a range of hundreds of miles. The freighter, built by Boeing of Seattle for the US Air Force's Airborne Laser Project, is designated the YAL-1A Attack Laser and is slated for field tests in 2003.

Boeing will install a composite turret ball produced by Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space of Sunnyvale, Calif., in the nose of the aircraft. The aircraft ultimately will house a megawatt-class, oxygen-iodine chemical laser from TRW of Redondo Beach, Calif.

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