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MDA In Pursuit Of Laser-Armed UAV

MDA In Pursuit Of Laser-Armed UAV June 22, 2017

The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is in pursuit of a laser-armed unmanned aircraft to intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in the 2023 timeframe. According to MDA solicitation published on 13 June, the agency requires a high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with the payload capacity needed to carry a high-energy laser system payload to high altitudes. 

Proposed aircraft should be able to maintain continuous positive ground control and are expected to operate from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii and Edwards Air Force Base in California. MDA's specifications for the UAV include a capability to fly at an altitude higher than 19 thousand meters, to have an endurance of greater than 36 hours on-station, to be able to fly at a cruise speed of less than Mach 0.45, to have a payload capacity of at least 2 thousand 268 kg.

MDA will also consider manned concepts with the appropriate justification. 

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