Patrick Kennedy: O U T | Main | Top Headline Comments 2-12-10
February 12, 2010

Airborne Laser Successfully Intercepts Ballistic Missile

Awesome!

At 8:44 p.m. (PST), February 11, 2010, a short-range threat-representative ballistic missile was launched from an at-sea mobile launch platform. Within seconds, the ALTB used onboard sensors to detect the boosting missile and used a low-energy laser to track the target. The ALTB then fired a second low-energy laser to measure and compensate for atmospheric disturbance. Finally, the ALTB fired its megawatt-class High Energy Laser, heating the boosting ballistic missile to critical structural failure. The entire engagement occurred within two minutes of the target missile launch, while its rocket motors were still thrusting.

My rocket motors are thrusting even now.

The article says it was the first successful test of an ABL intercepting an airborne missile, but then tosses in another little bit of info:

Less than one hour later, a second solid fuel short-range missile was launched from a ground location on San Nicolas Island, Calif. and the ALTB successfully engaged the boosting target with its High Energy Laser, met all its test criteria, and terminated lasing prior to destroying the second target. The ALTB destroyed a solid fuel missile, identical to the second target, in flight on February 3, 2010.

I'm feeling some high energy, in my pants. A futuristic directed-energy weapon baby.

Too bad the Administration has different priorities. Billions for bailouts but R&D crumbs for missile defense.


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posted by Dave In Texas at 08:31 AM

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