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In test, US airborne laser shoots down missile: Pentagon
AFP ^ | 1/12/2010 | AFP

Posted on 02/12/2010 3:29:37 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld

A high-energy laser mounted on a US military aircraft has shot down a ballistic missile in the first successful test of the weapon, the US Missile Defense Agency said on Friday.

The experiment -- evoking a scene out of a science fiction film -- was carried out off the central California coast at Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center at 8:44 pm Thursday Pacific time (0444 GMT), the agency said in a statement.

"The Missile Defense Agency demonstrated the potential use of directed energy to defend against ballistic missiles when the Airborne Laser Testbed (ALTB) successfully destroyed a boosting ballistic missile," it said.

The laser, mounted on a turret on the nose of a modified 747 aircraft, is designed to knock out an enemy missile by burning a hole in its side.

The project has been touted as potentially revolutionary, as the lasers are supposed to destroy ballistic missiles just after launch, when the missiles are moving at a slower speed on a predictable path.

The test could provide a boost to the five billion dollar program that has faced technical problems and been scaled back from initial plans that called for building a fleet of seven laser-equipped aircraft.

Last year Defense Secretary Robert Gates cancelled funds for a second prototype aircraft and called for more research to refine the weapon. He said the proposed role for the laser remained "highly questionable" amid questions about its cost and effectiveness.

The proposed defense budget for fiscal 2011 has no specific funding for the airborne laser but includes about 99 million dollars for directed energy research, Missile Defense Agency spokesman Richard Lehner said.

Aerospace giant Boeing is the lead contractor for the program, with Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin as partners.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: 747; abl; aerospace; aircraft; altb; ballisticmissile; bmd; boeing; edwardsafb; hel; laser; lasercannon; missilebefense; missiledefense; pentagon

1 posted on 02/12/2010 3:29:38 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
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To: sonofstrangelove
Don’t tell Barry. He’ll have the machine dismantled and the plans sent to the Russians.
2 posted on 02/12/2010 3:31:43 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: sonofstrangelove

An excellent demonstration of the potential of HEL weapons. Even better than shooting down mosquitoes!


3 posted on 02/12/2010 3:32:07 PM PST by Laserman
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To: sonofstrangelove

On the downside this program could divert money better spent on ACORN projects./s


4 posted on 02/12/2010 3:32:50 PM PST by Mikey_1962 (Obama: The Affirmative Action President)
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To: sonofstrangelove

I wonder if it works on people..


5 posted on 02/12/2010 3:33:16 PM PST by heysean
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To: heysean

If you have a big enough targeting mirror and powerful beam


6 posted on 02/12/2010 3:35:22 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld ("I have learned to use the word "impossible" with the greatest caution."-Dr.Wernher Von Braun)
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To: sonofstrangelove

Hmmm. No comments so far on the range or the size and speed of the target.


7 posted on 02/12/2010 3:35:49 PM PST by Darteaus94025
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To: colorado tanker

I’ll give him his due, this development and testing has continued on his watch.


8 posted on 02/12/2010 3:36:05 PM PST by TwelveOfTwenty (Hey Nancy, how many jobs have been lost since you and the Democrats took Congress?)
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To: sonofstrangelove

9 posted on 02/12/2010 3:38:45 PM PST by heysean
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To: heysean

One of my favorite movies


10 posted on 02/12/2010 3:39:31 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld ("I have learned to use the word "impossible" with the greatest caution."-Dr.Wernher Von Braun)
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To: sonofstrangelove

11 posted on 02/12/2010 3:40:41 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: TwelveOfTwenty

“I’ll give him his due, this development and testing has continued on his watch.”

Let’s just hope that the laser R&D hasn’t just been devoted to improving Obama’s super-human ability to swat flies (documented here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rbUH_iVjYw):

Watch a laser gun kill mosquitoes
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-10452992-71.html


12 posted on 02/12/2010 3:44:52 PM PST by DrC
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To: TwelveOfTwenty
Barry showed his true colors when he double-crossed Poland and the Czech Republic, refusing to deploy missile defense. He might let some research go on in a cash-starved budget so he won't be criticized for killing the program, but he has no intention of using the system to defend America or our allies.
13 posted on 02/12/2010 3:48:02 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: Darteaus94025
Hmmm. No comments so far on the range or the size and speed of the target.

Probably a standard target missile. Range is the biggie, though... and we're not likely to be told that.

14 posted on 02/12/2010 4:12:44 PM PST by r9etb
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To: r9etb
Range is the biggie, though... and we're not likely to be told that.

In the beginning of development I remember reading of a posted kill range of 200 miles. Whether true or not, actual range will be governed by a number of factors such as altitude, airborne particulate count, type of missile and so forth. Was the missile a solid fuel or liquid fuel?

15 posted on 02/12/2010 4:28:17 PM PST by Tonytitan
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To: Tonytitan
Aviation Week has good information....
16 posted on 02/12/2010 4:34:19 PM PST by r9etb
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To: heysean

Special Ops guys would love it.. Speak to the tribal elders, call down the wrath of god, have Taliban members dissolve in a pillar of fire. Talk about hearts and minds.


17 posted on 02/12/2010 4:36:09 PM PST by Waverunner ( "Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too." Voltaire)
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To: sonofstrangelove
Thank you President Reagan and for standing firm when they called your plan “Star Wars.” We are once again indebted to you
18 posted on 02/12/2010 4:47:44 PM PST by irishlass
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To: irishlass
Thank you President Reagan and for standing firm when they called your plan “Star Wars.”

The real fun begins when the solid state electrical lasers hit the 100KW+ level with the requsite cooling to go with it. They have a free electron laser down to a length of <20' and approaching 100KW of power. Deploying one of these on a ship gives a battle group some serious fleet defense against ASM. I saw some reporting stating that the F-35 had the electrical generating power to support a solid state laser once the cooling issues are resolved.

19 posted on 02/12/2010 5:10:04 PM PST by Tonytitan
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To: r9etb

Aviation week says it was a short range ballistic missile. So the size of the target was probably fairly small. Speed of the target would depend on when it was engaged. ABL engages during boost, so the target is accelerating all the time. So sooner would be better, lower speed. However, letting it climb up out of the thick atmosphere might be a good idea, or get above a cloud deck etc.


20 posted on 02/12/2010 6:01:34 PM PST by ThunderSleeps (obama out now! I'll keep my money, my guns, and my freedom - you can keep the change.)
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To: sonofstrangelove

Think Israel would be interested?


21 posted on 02/12/2010 6:06:39 PM PST by daniel1212 ("Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord [only Biblical object of petition] shall be saved")
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To: Tonytitan
The real fun begins when the solid state electrical lasers hit the 100KW+...

Yeah, this is only the beginning. The video of the shootdown is like something out of Buck Rogers. Gives me goosebumps and raises the hair on the back of my neck. If development is allowed to continue on HEL, directed energy weapons will become commonplace. Interesting times.

22 posted on 02/12/2010 6:07:11 PM PST by ThunderSleeps (obama out now! I'll keep my money, my guns, and my freedom - you can keep the change.)
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To: sonofstrangelove

Wherever he is, Nikola Tesla must be smiling.


23 posted on 02/12/2010 6:47:08 PM PST by pankot
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To: pankot

It would me much more interesting if the “death ray” was developed


24 posted on 02/12/2010 8:13:32 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld ("I have learned to use the word "impossible" with the greatest caution."-Dr.Wernher Von Braun)
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To: daniel1212

Most Definitely


25 posted on 02/12/2010 8:22:09 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld ("I have learned to use the word "impossible" with the greatest caution."-Dr.Wernher Von Braun)
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To: dfwgator

Babies with laser eyes!
http://babieswithlasereyes.com/


26 posted on 02/21/2010 9:48:35 AM PST by Jack Hydrazine
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