The official Airborne Laser program was initiated in 1996, and the first 747-400 with a laser attached, together known as a YAL-1 aircraft, successfully took off on July 18, 2002. The YAL-1's laser completed a successful ground test in 2004, and, on March 15, 2007, the YAL-1 successfully destroyed a target in flight with its laser.
The success of the program led to the mass development of AL-1 units. The United Nations Forces acquired at least one AL-1B variant, and deployed it in battle during Operation Point Blanc against the USEA Federation to destroy any ICBMs launched from Avalon Dam, Russia. However, this AL-1B was targeted by unidentified hostile forces and shot down prior to one ICBM launch from the facility, prompting Reaper to shoot down the missile instead.
- In real life, as of December 2011, the Airborne Laser program officially ended after the system was deemed far too costly for operational status. The single YAL-1 in existence flew its final flight on February 14, 2012 to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona, where it currently resides in storage.
- In standard aviation monikers, the Y prefix indicates experimental. Therefore, the deployment of an AL-1B implies mass production of the experimental model.
- The Infinity update that added the Avalon mission to the game was applied one day before the 12th anniversary of the YAL-1's maiden flight on July 18, 2002.
- ↑ Airborne Laser Laboratory. globalsecurity.org.
- ↑ Airborne Laser Background presentation. boeing.com
- ↑ Airborne Laser fires tracking laser, hits target. Air Force.
- ↑ Avalon (mission). Ace Combat Infinity.
- ↑ Lights Out For The Airborne Laser. Aviation Week.
- ↑ Airborne Laser Test Bed (ALTB). Facebook.