As the US scales back its airborne laser program due budget constraints and performance issues, the Russians are moving ahead with their airborne attack laser which has the capability to blind and possibly disable American satellites.
The A-60’s nose doesn’t seem to have any openings, however. Instead, there’s a “large bulge on the upper back of the aircraft [that] is apparently a sliding port for a 1-megawatt laser turret,” space historianDwayne A. Day writes for The Review. “The laser is clearly intended to fire up, at something above the plane, rather than to the sides or down, to engage ground targets or other aircraft.”
The craft’s nose art show it attacking the Hubble telescope but the Russians seem to be fielding a capability that will prevent the US from taking more than just pretty pictures of the cosmos.