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ANNEX F Common Solution/Concept List (U)
Air Force Mission Area Plan (MAP)

Airborne Laser (ABL)

 

 

ABL001 Airborne Laser System

DESCRIPTION: The Airborne Laser (ABL) is an ACAT 1D program which will provide a rapidly deployable airborne platform equipped with a long range laser weapon, capable of autonomously detecting, acquiring, tracking, identifying, and negating both liquid and solid-fueled Theater Ballistic Missiles (TBMs) during the boost phase of flight. The system will have a multi-megawatt Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser (COIL) integrated into a Boeing 747-400F aircraft to kill TBMs at ranges in excess of several hundred kilometers. It will have an autonomous, 360° threat detection capability with on-board infrared sensors and a wide laser field of view. The system will also have a salvo engagement capability and carry enough chemical fuel to destroy 20 to 40 enemy missiles before refueling. The ABL does not replace any other TMD system.

JUSTIFICATION: Major advantages include:

  1. Engages targets early over enemy territory; kills prior to submunitions release; debris falls well short of intended target; long lethal range (speed-of-light)
  2. Provides accurate launch points for attack operations; near real time missile flight data/impact point to terminal systems
  3. Kill assessment is rapid/easy with a shoot until kill weapon mechanism
  4. Enhances mid and terminal TMD systems; fewer incoming targets and track data for extended detection range
  5. In-flight refuelable; long loiter time

PROGRAM ELEMENT: PE 0603319F - PDRR and PE 0604350F - EMD

ISSUES: ABL technology is ready. Program moving forward and on schedule to complete first major milestone (ATP-1). Sound operational concept in place. Weapons system / A/C integration will be toughest challenge.

REFERENCES:

MNS Number & Title: JROCM-064-91 ORD Number & Title: 004-91-I-F

TMD Mission Need Statement, 18 Nov 91 Final Operational Requirements Document for Airborne Laser (ABL ORD), 19 Dec 96

1067 Number & Title: N/A Development Plan Date & Title: Aerospace Control Development Plan" ,30 Sep 96

Current CINC IPL: NOR Y, CEN Y, USA Y, EUR Y, PAC Y

ACC PEM Name: LtCol Jeff Stough PEM Backup Name: LtCol Mark Nobile

 

 

 

 



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ANNEX F Common Solution/Concept List (U)
Air Force Mission Area Plan (MAP)