ABL Passes Another Milestone:

The Airborne Laser has completed a “fire control loop,” or sequence of events needed to fire its laser at a boosting ballistic missile, according to a July 9 Missile Defense Agency release. During the June 29 flight test, the ABL also conducted the first-in-flight propagation of the Surrogate High Energy Laser through its nose-mounted turret. The SHEL simulates the high-energy Chemical Iodine Oxygen Laser to be installed on the aircraft later this year. Upcoming tests this month will feature a “complete engagement series,” with the ABL using its tracking illuminator laser, atmospheric compensation laser, and the SHEL.