Boeing YAL-1 (747)

1st Flight 2002

The Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser Test-bed weapons system was a megawatt-class chemical oxygen iodine laser mounted inside a modified military Boeing 747-400F.

It was primarily designed as a missile defence system to destroy tactical ballistic missiles (TBMs) while in boost phase.

The aircraft was designated YAL-1A in 2004 by the U.S. Department of Defence.

The YAL-1 with a low-power laser was test-fired in flight at an airborne target in 2007.

A high-energy laser was used to intercept a test target in January 2010, and the following month, successfully destroyed two test missiles.

Funding for the program was cut in 2010 and the program was cancelled in December 2011.

It made its final flight on February 14, 2012, to Davis–Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, to be kept in storage at the “Boneyard” by the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group.

It was ultimately scrapped in September 2014 after all usable parts were removed.

Specifications

Crew

6

Length

231 ft 8 in (70.6 m)

Wingspan

211 ft 3 in (64.4 m)

Height

63 ft 8 in (19.4 m)

Airfoil

Root

BAC 463 to BAC 468

Tip

BAC 469 to BAC 474

Max take-off weight

875,000 lb (396,893 kg)

Powerplant

4 × General Electric CF6-80C2B5F turbofan engines, 62,000 lbf (276 kN) thrust each

Performance

Maximum speed

547.5 kn (630.1 mph, 1,014.0 km/h) at 35,000 ft (11,000 m)

Cruise speed

499.5 kn (574.8 mph, 925.1 km/h) at 35,000 ft (11,000 m)

Armament

1 × COIL

Avionics

1 × ABL infrared detector system

2 × Target Illuminator lasers.

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