The Airborne Laser (ABL) will locate and track missiles in the boost phase of their flight, then accurately point and fire the high-energy laser, destroying enemy missiles near their launch areas.


  • Operates autonomously, above the clouds, outside the range of threat weapons but sufficiently close to enemy territory
  • Engages early, destroying ballistic missiles in their boost phase of flight over launch area
  • Cues and tracks targets, communicating with other joint theater assets for layered defense system

Unique Technology:

  • Nose-mounted turret with 1.5m telescope that focuses beams on missile and collects return image and signals
  • Beam Control System to acquire and track targets with precision accuracy

Look for further developments of the ABL as the global threat of ballistic missiles becomes ever more prevalent.


Shown here in preparation for flight testing in Wichita, Kan., The ABL may take its first realistic test shot in 2008. The 747-type aircraft is equipped with a powerful chemical laser weapon For shooting down ballistic missiles in their boost phase. (Boeing photo)

Click this nose image for large view

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