The Airborne Laser, a modified Boeing 747 carrying laser systems to track and destroy ballistic missiles as they are in the early stages of flight, completed another milestone.
For the first time on Saturday, lasers tracked a boosting missile and were able to compensate for atmospheric conditions and remain locked on the target for an extended period of time, Sen. Sam Brownback said in a congratulatory message to the Missile Defense Agency.
The Airborne Laser carries three lasers, a tracking laser, an environmental laser that compensates for atmospheric variables, and a weaponized laser, that work together to track and destroy missiles.
The test was conducted while the modified plane was in flight.
“Especially with North Korea’s recent provocative behavior, ABL’s progress is more important than ever,” Brownback said in a message.
The Airborne Laser is scheduled to undergo a series of tests this summer, culminating into a full system test to shoot down a missile in the fall.