MOSCOW, June 25. /TASS/. Russia’s Almaz design bureau has launched a project to design airborne laser technologies to counter ground-based, aerial and space surveillance systems, the company said in its annual report published on Tuesday.
"As one of the priority areas of its work, JSC NPO Almaz views designing and testing a prototype of an airborne laser system to counter land-, sea-, air-and space-based surveillance systems in the infrared part of the spectrum," the document says.
Earlier, an informed source told TASS that Russia had launched a project to build an aircraft equipped with new-generation laser weaponry. The project is being carried out as part of the Sokol-Echelon project.
Attempts to build a flying laser were carried out by Soviet specialists. The first A-60 aircraft, based on the Il-76MD transport plane, made its maiden flight as early as in 1981. The project was revived several years ago.
The United States also ran its own flying laser project. However, the program during which the Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser Testbed was designed and built, was cancelled in late 2011.