Was the YAL-1A a cover?

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posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 10:26 PM
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With the announcement of Boeing and NASA developing a "new" wing, based on the 30+ year old Mission Adaptive Wing technology, I decided to go ahead with this thread after all.

Recently I was talking about various projects with people that know, and the topic of energy weapons came up. From microwave, to laser systems, when it occured to me that the YAL-1A "failure" may have been a cover for a weapon system that's already developed that could be "spun off" the technology that was used in the ABL program.

If you look at Kirtland AFB in New Mexico the AFRL has a major laser lab there. They have been working on developing laser systems there since at least the 1970s. The Directed Energy Directorate works from there, developing Laser Systems, High Power Electromagnetics, Weapons Modeling and Simulation, and Directed Energy and Electro-Optics for Space Superiority.

Directed Energy Directorate

In 1968, the Air Force Weapons Laboratory began work on a CO2 gas dynamic laser system. The idea to mount it on an aircraft followed shortly thereafter. In 1972 a 100 kilowatt CO2 laser (ground based) was successfully fired. After the success of the ground based tests, the lab moved to firing at airborne targets. On November 13, 1973, a 12 foot MQM-33B drone was targeted and hit with the laser. The laser burned through the skin, destroying the control systems. The Air Force was trying to hit the fuel tank, and cause an explosion, which they did the following day. The laser locked on and impacted the fuel tank, causing an explosion.

In March of 1972, the lab had secured a KC-135A (53123) to mount the laser on. It was redesignated as an NKC-135A, and called the Airborne Laser Lab. A second aircraft was used to mount laser targets on, and was shot with a low powered system to show tracking and firing abilities of the systems being developed.

53123 Airborne Laser Lab


Flying target aircraft


In January of 1975 the ALL began shakedown tests to determine flight characteristics of the aircraft and the laser system mounted on it. Over 8 years the lab tested tracking, and lasing from the aircraft, until 1983 when they were ready to do full up testing of the system.

On May 26, 1983 the ALL successfully shot down an AIM-9B missile. Between then and June 1 of 1983 it shot down four more Sidewinders. The final test of the system occurred on September 26, 1983. In a joint USAF/USN test, the ALL shot down three BMQ-34A target drones, that were simulating Soviet cruise missiles.

According to the Air Force Weapons Lab, the stress put on the laser turret during flight would potentially limit the life of the laser structure. Since testing to that point had been labeled "Proof of Concept" it was supposedly put on a shelf and ignored until after Desert Storm.

After Desert Storm, and all the Scud missiles that were fired, interest in an Airborne Laser picked up again. The Air Force supposedly started all over again from scratch with the YAL-1A program. The program lost funding in 2010, after successfully destroying a ballistic missile in the boost phase in testing. One of the main reasons was the range of the laser. It was reported that the aircraft would have to fly over hostile territory to be able to hit a missile in the boost phase.

Now, after the quick history lesson, my question is this.....What were they doing from 1983 until 1996 and beyond? Did they really just say "oh, the Airborne Laser Lab worked beautifully, let's shelve it and ignore it"? Or did they continue testing and development, but make it go dark. We're seeing laser systems tested now that fit in a C-130 sized aircraft. Are these really the best that the AFRL has been able to come up with since prior to 1983? The laser used on the ALL was tiny in comparison to the one used on the YAL-1A, but seems to have done more than that laser was able to do, comparatively.

Just as Boeing is developing a "new" wing, that's based on 30+ year old technology, was the YAL-1A program used to prepare us for some "new" weapon system that's going to come out of the dark soon?

Sources:
www.globalsecurity.org...
en.wikipedia.org...




posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 05:15 AM
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"Are these really the best that the AFRL has been able to come up with since prior to 1983?"

Do you think they have been doing nothing for 30 plus years and spent millions of dollars doing nothing ? secrets are secrets for good reasons ???
edit on 26-1-2013 by edtheduck because: ?



posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 05:27 AM
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reply to post by edtheduck
 


I know they are, and I know that they have done a lot of work in the field of lasers at Kirtland. But what was the point of the YAL-1A program? A sop to Congress? Where they really trying to build an airborne laser and failing? Or is there something else they're about to reveal? Nothing wrong with speculating and trying to figure things out.



posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 06:03 AM
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Well Genndy Borisovich Tartakovsky the creator of "Star Wars: Clone Wars" was born in Moscow January 17, 1970.
Maybe his childhood in Russia was influenced by the Russian Star Wars program from that period?

The YAL-1A could have been a cover for any number of things.
The best opportunity to prevent attack from a hardened RLG guided missile is before the missile is launched..

They would have planned all kinds of surveillance flyover programs in the 70's along with counter measures like birds designed for DOS missions.

Nice on topic thread, is North Korea affiliated with any other world government space agencies?



posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 04:49 PM
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What were they doing?
Perhaps developing new control systems, integrating modern computers, building a completely different type of laser to go in a completely different airframe with a gimbal mount, and seeing if they could make it a useful operational unit instead of a flying laboratory??

Why would they need a "cover" at all?? Laser weapon research is not secret, at least not in concept, and pretty much everyone in the world who knows anything about it expects more powerful lasers to be smaller in the future...soo...????



posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 07:16 PM
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reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 


If you look, then you will see that weapons development moves in a logical progression. If they have developed something beyond lasers, then they can come out and say "developing the COIL system for the YAL-1 led to this." It also makes a great cover for where the money for follow on systems went. The YAL-1A was way over budget at the time of cancellation, so why not take all the extra money that they say was going to the program, and sink it into something else, especially since they could clearly see the writing on the wall, and that the program was dead.



posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 07:58 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 



The next time you take off from KAFB, get clearance for RY 8 (you can’t use RY 35) . Use 107 degrees V 68. Look at the U shaped valley at the top of the lower mountains. Enjoy.



posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 08:19 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


How would COIL lead to something other than lasers? COIL is a laser - what does developing a laser lead to if not a better laser?


And we know they are looking at other non-conventional weapons too - rail guns, sound, infrared, etc. - so I just dont see what you are driving at sorry.



posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 09:32 PM
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reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 


That's what I'm saying. It didn't necessarily have to lead to anything. But most people, if you tell them that you were working on a laser system, and developed something else from the research on it, will have no idea if it would lead to that or not, and will take it at face value. It could easily be something they had already developed, but claimed that COIL led to it.



posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 11:12 AM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by edtheduck
 


I know they are, and I know that they have done a lot of work in the field of lasers at Kirtland. But what was the point of the YAL-1A program? A sop to Congress? Where they really trying to build an airborne laser and failing? Or is there something else they're about to reveal? Nothing wrong with speculating and trying to figure things out.

I agree there is nothing wrong with speculating, its half the fun ! But just once in a while it would be nice to actually know! However in some ways we are our own worst enemies, because by their very nature, the things that interest us are extremely secretive. Hence the definitive answers we seek will always be unobtainable.






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