Skip to comments.US mothballs airborne laser missile defense weapon
Posted on 03/04/2012 11:28:49 PM PST by U-238
The Pentagon has mothballed a laser-equipped jumbo jet after 15 years and $5 billion worth of research to develop an airborne missile defense system.
Budget cuts shot down the Airborne Laser Test Bed but some research into anti-missile lasers will continue, according to the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.
"We didn't have the funding to continue flying the aircraft," agency spokeswoman Debra Christman told the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/xEnw3z ).
The plane, a Boeing 747 mounted with a high-energy chemical laser, has been sent into storage at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, the agency said. The base near Tucson, Ariz., serves as a boneyard for military aircraft.
The Boeing had been based at Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California's Mojave Desert. It was the centerpiece of the laser-based missile defense system research program that began in 1996.
It provided hundreds of Southern California jobs through aerospace companies such as Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp.
The conclusion of the program "represents the end of a historic era in airborne directed energy research, not only for Edwards Air Force Base but for the Department of Defense at large," Lt. Col. Jeff Warmka, director of the Airborne Laser Test Bed Combined Test Force at Edwards, told the Times.
It was one in a series of missile defense programs that originated in President Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative in 1983 the so-called "Star Wars" missile shoot-down effort that was criticized as impractical, expensive and overreaching.
The Missile Defense Agency said the program completed a key objective in February 2010 when the laser-equipped plane tracked and destroyed a test missile in flight off the Southern California coast.
(Excerpt) Read more at cbsnews.com ...
Shame on the Pentagon!
But he’s not an anti-American Muslim, and he resents your even thinking it!!
The final flight was on February 14th according to the Missile Defense Agency
That doesn’t sound feasible to me as a weapons system.
The ALTB demonstrated a workable directed energy weapon for missile defense by tracking and destroying. I hope that they move the project to the black projects and continue development.
It also provides a foundation for other laser missile defense projects.
That I can see.
I wasn’t thinking of applications when I spoke too soon.
It won’t be lost, I don’t think.
It will be just like the rail gun technology, kept in development until something really useful comes from it.
Put this laser technology on space based satellites and now we’re talking.
THe government has invested billions of dollars into the project. They are not going to let it die. They will just plug it into other military applications.
That will be the perfect place to put this technology
Why not, it was to stand off and blast enemy missiles from fairly long range. Would have been just the thing to have 3, maybe only 2, stationed near Iran and then just zap anything the Mad Mullahs and ImADinnerJacket put up. You can put a might big laser into a 747. Including the fuel for quite a few "shots". I have a former coworker, who is also a former Missile Launch Officer, who worked on that project, first as a contractor, and then as an activated Reservist to back fill for some active duty guys who were needed elsewhere after 9-11.
That will be the perfect platform to use this technology. Use the laser on the X-37.
The Pentagon obeys the orders of coming from the Czars in the White House, who in turn work for that Community Organizer.
You would have to protect it with fighters and probably an AWACS, but the same can be said of the AWACS itself. The ex AWACS crew who was our project manager said the airplane should have a yellow stripe down the top. If any enemy got anywhere near, the tactic was to shut down the radar and dive to get outa Dodge as quickly as possible. :)
How many shots could you get per flight and their level of fire power compared with a similar sized bomber with moab’s?
I know it’s not completely comparable, but I’m sure you get where I’m going with this.
Actual test of the 747 laser against an airborne target. There is a video of it somewhere IIRC.. here it is.