|Quoting bennett123 (Reply 3):|
However, as a one off, and the USAF not having any other B747-400F derived aircraft, it is not sounding good.
|Quoting GDB (Reply 7):|
Secretary of Defense Gates said that "I don't know anybody at the Department of Defense, Mr. Tiahrt, who thinks that this program should, or would, ever be operationally deployed. The reality is that you would need a laser something like 20 to 30 times more powerful than the chemical laser in the plane right now to be able to get any distance from the launch site to fire."
"So, right now the ABL would have to orbit inside the borders of Iran in order to be able to try and use its laser to shoot down that missile in the boost phase. And if you were to operationalize this you would be looking at 10 to 20 747s, at a billion and a half dollars apiece, and $100 million a year to operate. And there's nobody in uniform that I know who believes that this is a workable concept."
The Air Force did not request further funds for the Airborne Laser for 2010; Air Force Chief Schwartz has said that the system "does not reflect something that is operationally viable." In December 2011, it was reported that the project was to be ended after 16 years of development and a cost of over $5 billion.