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Thread: U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

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    U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

    U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile
    WASHINGTON, Feb 12 (Reuters) - A U.S. high-powered airborne laser weapon shot down a ballistic missile in the first successful test of a futuristic directed energy weapon, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said on Friday.

    The agency said in a statement the test took place at 8:44 p.m. PST (11:44 p.m. EST) on Thursday /0444 GMT on Friday) at Point Mugu's Naval Air Warfare Center-Weapons Division Sea Range off Ventura in central California.

    "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" the agency said.

    The high-powered Airborne Laser system is being developed by Boeing Co., (BA.N) the prime contractor, and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.

    Boeing produces the airframe, a modified 747 jumbo jet, while Northrop Grumman (NOC.N) supplies the higher-energy laser and Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) is developing the beam and fire control systems.

    "This was the first directed energy lethal intercept demonstration against a liquid-fuel boosting ballistic missile target from an airborne platform," the agency added.

    The airborne laser weapon successfully underwent its first in-flight test against a target missile back in August. During that test, Boeing said the modified 747-400F aircraft took off from Edwards Air Force Base and used its infrared sensors to find a target missile launched from San Nicolas Island, California.

    The plane's battle management system issued engagement and target location instructions to the laser's fire control system, which tracked the target and fired a test laser at the missile. Instruments on the missile verified the system had hit its mark, Boeing said.
    The system works, the system never had a major set-back, naturally the man sworn to defend the nation from enemies cancelled it.

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    Re: U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

    If they could catch all the missiles in boost phase...then great. I suppose this was intended as only part of an ballistic missile or ICBM defense system.
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    Re: U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    The system works, the system never had a major set-back, naturally the man sworn to defend the nation from enemies cancelled it.
    I know it is shiny, but is it cheap? That is what I bet Obama killed it. We may have a stronger military then other countries, but we spend more on our military then the entire world (excluding us of course) combined. We have one of the worst dollar to military strength ratios in the world, because people want us to spend crap loads of money on generally impractical technologies. We need to think about practicability more then shininess. Maybe then we could keep the worlds strongest military without spending so much on it.
    Last edited by ScottD; 02-12-10 at 08:52 PM.

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    Re: U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottD View Post
    I know it is shiny, but is it cheap? That is what I bet Obama killed it. We may have a stronger military then other countries, but we spend more on our military then the entire world (excluding us of course) combined. We have one of the worst dollar to military strength ratios in the world, because people want us to spend crap loads of money on generally impractical technologies. We need to think about practicability more then shininess. Maybe then we could keep the worlds strongest military without spending so much on it.
    And what exactly is so impracticle about this device?

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    Re: U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    The system works, the system never had a major set-back, naturally the man sworn to defend the nation from enemies cancelled it.
    According to this article the system is "eight years behind schedule and $4 billion over cost".

    Gates canceled it saying, "The ABL program has significant affordability and technology problems, and the program's proposed operational role is highly questionable,"

    Local News | Boeing "hit harder" than rivals by defense budget cuts | Seattle Times Newspaper

    http://www.missilethreat.com/missile...tem_detail.asp
    Last edited by Gibberish; 02-12-10 at 09:19 PM.
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    Re: U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalGear View Post
    And what exactly is so impracticle about this device?
    The cost. To actually make any use out of these, we will need lots of them. Don't forget also, these things are massive high-tech lasers strapped to the inside of a 737. The amount of money needed to make these things could be used more wisely elsewhere.

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    Re: U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottD View Post
    I know it is shiny, but is it cheap? That is what I bet Obama killed it. We may have a stronger military then other countries, but we spend more on our military then the entire world (excluding us of course) combined. We have one of the worst dollar to military strength ratios in the world, because people want us to spend crap loads of money on generally impractical technologies. We need to think about practicability more then shininess. Maybe then we could keep the worlds strongest military without spending so much on it.
    And you're certain about all these assertions based on what?
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    Re: U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottD View Post
    The cost. To actually make any use out of these, we will need lots of them. Don't forget also, these things are massive high-tech lasers strapped to the inside of a 737. The amount of money needed to make these things could be used more wisely elsewhere.
    I hope they actually bolted them in...
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    Re: U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottD View Post
    The cost. To actually make any use out of these, we will need lots of them. Don't forget also, these things are massive high-tech lasers strapped to the inside of a 737. The amount of money needed to make these things could be used more wisely elsewhere.
    You care to offer some suggestions?
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
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    Re: U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottD View Post
    I know it is shiny, but is it cheap? That is what I bet Obama killed it. We may have a stronger military then other countries, but we spend more on our military then the entire world (excluding us of course) combined. We have one of the worst dollar to military strength ratios in the world, because people want us to spend crap loads of money on generally impractical technologies. We need to think about practicability more then shininess. Maybe then we could keep the worlds strongest military without spending so much on it.
    Umm.... no.

    China spends more than we do and so dose Russia. Of course, China as a million badly trained troops. Russia has troops ... but no idea where they all are.

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